Yearling Books, Paperback, 9780385752275, 356pp.
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
What good is a toy that will wind down? What if you could give a toy a heart? A real heart. One that beat and beat and didn't stop. What couldn't you do if you could make a toy like that?
From the moment that the circus boy, Mathias, takes a small roll of paper from the dying conjuror, his fate is sealed. For on it is the key to a terrifying secret, and there are those who would kill him rather than have it told.
Pursued by the sinister Dr. Leiter with his exquisite doll and malevolent dwarf, preyed on by the circus master and his vicious painted wife, Mathias is drawn into a relentless nightmare. A nightmare that will lead him to the Toymaker, and to a knife as cruel as frost.
A relentlessly dark and sinister tale of a young boy's living nightmare, this debut novel will send shivers down your spine and will haunt you long after the final page. With the atmosphere of Philip Pullman's I Was a Rat!, this is a brilliantly frightening tale from an exciting new literary talent.
Michael Morpurgo is the award-winning author of more than ninety books and a former British Children's Laureate. He lives in Devon, England.
Gary Blythe has illustrated numerous picture books, including THE WHALES' SONG by Dyan Sheldon, which was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal. He lives in London.