Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Prize 2020.
‘A thrilling and a magical book’ Sally Gardner.
Storm, shipwreck, survival. Chris Vick’s novel delves deep into the might and majesty of the unpredictable ocean, the strength of an unlikely friendship between a British boy and a Berber girl and their will to survive against all the odds.
A British boy narrowly survives the sinking of his yacht in a huge storm off the coast of Morocco. After days alone at sea in a tiny rowing boat Bill rescues a girl clinging for her life to a barrel. Aya, from the nomadic Berber tribe, was escaping to Europe when her migrant ship was destroyed in the same storm. Through endless days and star-spangled nights, they drift – mere specks on the vast, empty ocean – weakened by fear, hunger, and burned by the unforgiving sun. Aya tells Bill about The Arabian Nights, and Shahrazad, who told 1001 stories to save her life. As hope of rescue begins to fade, they find strength in these tales of magic, brave heroes, wily thieves, greedy sultans, and courageous girls.
When they land on a desert island, they’re surprised to be confronted by a stranger who is not what he seems… and back out on the waves once more in the dark deep, a shadow follows…