Close to the Wind (Paperback)

By Jon Walter

David Fickling Books, 9780545822756, 320pp.

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (5/26/2015)

List Price: 8.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A simple, resonant, and heart-shattering debut for younger fans of Between Shades of Gray. A timely story about greed, love, trust and what matters most when your world falls apart.

A war-torn country . . . only one way out.

Ten-year-old Malik's world is falling apart. Soldiers have invaded town, and his mother is missing, leaving Malik with his grandfather, Papa. Along with a thousand other refugees, their hope for escape to a new life lies in gaining passage aboard one ship--but the demand for tickets is high, and so is the cost. Can they make it on? And will they find Mama before the ship departs? When things don't go as planned, Malik must summon all of his courage and resourcefulness to survive.

A heart-wrenching and suspenseful story of sacrifice and resilience, Close to the Wind confronts the realities of war in a timeless and accessible way.

About the Author

Jon Walter is a former photojournalist with a special interest in social welfare issues. His debut middle grade novel, Close to the Wind, was chosen as The Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week in the United Kingdom and an Indie Next List pick in the United States. My Name is Not Friday is his young adult debut and has earned five starred reviews. He lives in East Sussex, England, with his family.

Praise For Close to the Wind

Praise for Close to the Wind:

A Summer 2015 Kids' Indie Next List pick

A Sunday Times (UK) Children's Book of the Week

"Richly developed and empathetic characters." --School Library Journal

"Crisply plotted, somber, and suspenseful." --Horn Book

"His prose is almost invisible: nothing comes between the reader and the book's action and emotion." --Guardian (UK)

"Malik's story is simultaneously worldly and gentle, reminding readers that though life is sometimes breathtakingly disappointing and war can certainly bring out the worst in people, bad guys don't always win in the end." -- The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

"Walter's debut novel is a profile of innocence maintained in the face of war... The roller-coaster ride of experiences and emotions, taking Malik and readers from fear, despair, loss, and grief to love and hope, is accurately drawn." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Walter does not name the country that Malik is escaping from or the details of the source of the conflict, allowing readers to concentrate on Malik's tender-hearted character and his responses with the attention and respect that he and others like him deserve." -- Shelf Awareness

"Walter turns the heart-rending emotional toll of war on the civilian population into a very personal, poignant story that the reader will remember." -- Voice of Youth Advocates

"An original and cleverly plotted tale of betrayal, sacrifice, and ingenuity." --Sunday Times (UK)

Praise for My Name is Not Friday:

A Shelf Awareness Best Children's and Teen Book of the Year

Named by Bustle as one of "12 YA Novels That Will Make You See the World Differently"

* "Samuel's endearing, immersive narration makes the novel a fascinating and unforgettable account of a brutal and shameful chapter in America's history. A heartbreaking story about family, justice, and the resilience of the human spirit." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Walter masterfully constructs the world of the plantation and presents a large population of complex and distinctive characters, resulting in a rich, thought-provoking, and deeply satisfying book." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Walter skillfully tells a thoroughly riveting, elegantly nuanced story of an orphan sold into slavery in the Civil War South . . . . Teen readers will be cheering for Samuel in this insightful, hopeful, gut-wrenching and truly fine novel." --Shelf Awareness, starred review

* "Compelling . . . Lyrically written." --School Library Journal, starred review

* "Remarkable....A multilayered epic that weaves together history and humanity while confronting the elusive grays between right and wrong, this work proves to be a significant, resonating addition to the Civil War canon." --School Library Journal, starred review for the Audio edition