The Lost Stone of SkyCity
Publisher: Fremantle Press
HM Waugh’s debut novel is a captivating adventure-quest sparkling with humour and wisdom, set amid treacherous mountains where being attuned to one’s surroundings is more crucial than strength to survival. The story unfolds through ‘Dirt-Girl’ Sunaya, who is discovering special gifts within and believes that ‘The only true fail is to not try’. The plot sweeps along. What will become of Sunaya’s friend and nephew Danam? Will Princess Rishala find her Cloud Dragon protector in time to avert civil war in SkyCity? Who will that Cloud Dragon be? While Sunaya’s culture may be of another place and time, the language is contemporary and brightly wry. Evocative imagery – ‘as thin as herding sticks’ – abounds. Throughout, the author deftly casts a beam on the emptiness of prejudice and the uselessness of beauty. The novel especially suits ages 9 to 13. Extensive teaching notes are available on the publisher’s website.