The Night Sky in My Head is the début novel from Sarah Hammond. As it promises the reader that it is ‘the perfect read for fans of Skellig and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time‘, I thought I’d give it a try. I am very glad that I did.
Although I finished it in two days (not bad considering everyday distractions of family life), this is by no means an easy read. I don’t mean this as a negative, it’s just a fact, or at least, it was for me. The character of Mikey is complex, his thoughts are pulled between alternate time frames and as such, so is the reader.
The complexities of Mikey are balanced with relatively simple language. Once you come to grips with the ‘Backwards’ and the ‘Now’, the reader does not have to work hard to decode any hidden meaning beneath the surface of the text itself. Added to this, the character of Mikey is almost magnetic in his attraction. Not in a physical or sensual way (this is a book for children!), what I mean is that his complete innocence is endearing. I felt myself sharing in his sense of panic, delighting in his moments of joy and daring to hope for the best possible outcome when all seemed so lost.
All in all, a beautifully written story, which leaves the reader with an emotional attachment to the characters. I am very much looking forward to reading Sarah Hammond’s first picture book published by Meadowside Children’s Books next year.