Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, Southern Schools Book Award, Essex Book Award and Carnegie Medal nominated Ash’s dad has just returned from war, close to breakdown, far from the war hero Ash was expecting. Ash is the stag boy in the annual Stag Chase. He’s been waiting to tell his dad he’s following in his footsteps, he’ll make him proud. But Dad is stuck in a world of imaginary threats.
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, Southern Schools Book Award, Essex Book Award and Carnegie Medal nominated
Ash’s dad has just returned from war, close to breakdown, far from the war hero Ash was expecting. Ash is the stag boy in the annual Stag Chase. He’s been waiting to tell his dad he’s following in his footsteps, he’ll make him proud. But Dad is stuck in a world of imaginary threats.
When Ash’s grieving best friend, Mark, pushes him away too, his world suddenly seems lonely and threatening. So Ash retreats to the mountains, to his punishing training runs. But in the mountains dark things are stirring, and the hound boys of old haunt his running steps. Ash glimpses a man made of crows and hears the death cry of a stag boy. Ash starts to wonder how much of the sinister pagan stories about the Stag Chase are true, and what it all has to do with his friend’s anger and grief.
Ash, Mark and Dad must confront death on every side, and find a way to live again.
‘A marvellous debut. Don’t miss this book!’
‘Haunting and compelling. An outstanding novel.’
Phil Earle author of Being Billy and Heroic
‘Dark, magical, and mysterious, Bone Jack captured me and carried me away.’
Rebecca Stead, author of Liar & Spy
‘Bone Jack hooks from the opening atmospheric chapter… is a powerful and beguiling YA novel’
Martin Chilton, The Telegraph
‘With a deft hand, Crowe twines the ancient folk motifs around her evocation of modern Britain… A lovely, eerie adventure, balancing the ancient magic with Ash’s very real character growth’
‘…intensely spooky read’
Wall Street Journal, ‘best new children’s books’
‘Crowe brilliantly tiptoes between illusion and reality as she creates a pulse-pounding finale in the race itself up the mountain, as forces of nature and much darker forces seem to converge.’
‘Crowe cultivates an unsettling atmosphere with ghostly apparitions, threats of violence, and descriptions of grotesqueries, such as a rotting stag head and a cape of crow carcasses. Amid the looming danger, Crowe leaves plenty of room for meaningful conversations about family, loyalty, and mental illness, particularly pertaining to Ash’s father. Though this might seem like just another ghost story, there’s subtle depth here, too, and teen fans of both horror and literary fiction will find lots to like.’
‘Haunting, ominous, and mesmerizing, this is a fantasy that captivates. Crowe is a masterly storyteller whose lyrical prose will enthrall young readers.’
Pamela Thompson, School Library Journal
‘Crowe is particularly effective in evoking the sensory elements of the natural world—a “lash of tingling heat” as a nettle brushes against a hand; the look of the “leathery remains of a frog”; or the “thin shriek [of ] some tiny mammal taken by owl or stoat or fox.” Reminiscent of David Almond’s work in its sensuality and mysticism.’
The Horn Book