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What The Birds See

Three children go to the shop to buy ice-cream and never return home. The year is 1977. Nine-year-old Adrian lives with his gran and his uncle Rory.

He loves to draw and he wants a dog. He’s afraid of quicksand, shopping centers and self-combustion. But as closely as he watches his suburban world, there is much he cannot understand.

He does not, for instance, know why three neighbourhood children might set out to buy ice-cream one summer’s day and never be seen again… In this suburb that is no longer safe and innocent, in a broken family of self-absorbed souls, Sonya Hartnett sets the story of a lone little boy – unwanted, unloved and intensely curious – a story as achingly beautiful as it is shattering. As her quiet tale ominously unfolds, we are reminded of how fragile are the threads that hold us secure – and how brave, how precious, is the heart of each child who soldiers on.

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