"Skip was my running-away name. It seemed like a good name because of how I skipped to school whenever I was doing a runner. A skip is somewhere you can shelter when there's nowhere else, and getting a new name is a bit like being born all over again. I hoped my new life would be better than the one I'd left behind."
Tender but tough, magical yet real, this is a break-out novel for young teenagers by prize-winning author Glenda Millard. Skip is an outsider, an artistic young boy who has never fitted in. After being shunted around various foster homes, Skip takes to the streets, where he finds a friend, an old homeless man named Billy. But then life is turned upside-down when bombs shatter the city.
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark is a captivating story about Skip, old Billy, little Max and a beautiful lost dancer with her sweet baby Sixpence- rag-tag survivors of a sudden war, holding together in the remnants of a fun fair until violence shatters their fragile world.
With its theme of war and homelessness, there are echoes here of How I Live Now and Tomorrow When the War Began, but Millard has her own simple, luminous style, with great depth of feeling. A Small Free Kiss in the Dark is a special book- touching, atmospheric, beautifully written- a book that will resonate long after you've finished reading it.
Glenda Millard began thinking about the main character for this book after noticing a newspaper headlining 'Urban Tribes', and she wondered what life would be like for a young homeless boy, living with people thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. But, while the backdrop for this story is war, her intention was to capture the indomitable nature of hope, even in dire situations. Glenda has written picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. The Naming of Tishkin Silk was an Honour Book in the 2004 CBC Book of the Year Awards and shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literacy Awards. Layla Queen of Hearts was a winner in the 2007 Qld Premier's Literary Awards and was shortlisted in the 2007 CBC awards. Kait's Cloth was also shortlisted in the 2007 Qld Premier's Literary Awards. Glenda lives in Bendigo, Victoria.
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark
Allen and Unwin
Author: Glenda Millard