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Song for a Scarlet Runner
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Julie Hunt
Song for a Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt at Abbey's Bookshop,

Song for a Scarlet Runner

Julie Hunt


Allen & Unwin

Children's & Educational;
Fantasy & magical realism (Children's&YA)


324 pages

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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Peat has lived apart from the isolated village she was born into, exiled to the furthest reaches of the territory to tend to dairy cows. When she inadvertently points a stranger towards the township, and he brings the plague, she is driven away from the only home she has known. Forced into the terrible swamps of the borders, she is caught by a marsh-aunty, and becomes her apprentice. Peat also makes the acquaintance of a sleek, or scarlet runner, a strange creature of variable friendliness. She learns the trade of storytelling, and accompanies her mistress to the city at the centre of the world, where it becomes apparent that the marsh-aunty has not revealed all the stories that need to be told… A classic adventure story set in a strange world, an enjoyable and well-constructed standalone novel. Ages 10-14. Lindy


Peat is on the run - forced to flee for her life when she's blamed for bringing bad luck to her village. She heads for the endless marshes, where she's caught by an old healer-woman who makes Peat her apprentice and teaches her the skill of storytelling. But a story can be a dangerous thing. It can take you out of one world and leave you stranded in another - and Peat finds herself trapped in an eerie place beyond the Silver River where time stands still. Her only friends are a 900-year-old boy and his ghost hound, plus a small and slippery sleek - a cunning creature that might sink his teeth into your leg one minute, and save your life the next.

By:   Julie Hunt
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   272g
ISBN:   9781743313589
ISBN 10:   1743313586
Pages:   324
Publication Date:   March 2013
Recommended Age:   From 9
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  Children / Juvenile
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Julie Hunt lives on a farm in southern Tasmania and is fascinated by landscapes and the stories they inspire. This interest has taken her from the rugged west coast of Ireland to the ice caves of Romania. She loves poetry, storytelling and traditional folktales, and her own stories combine other-worldly elements with down-to-earth humour. Julie has written picture books and junior novels, and her graphic novel KidGlovz, illustrated by Dale Newman, will be published in the spring of 2013. In Song for a Scarlet Runner, Julie explores an idea that occurs in many traditional stories throughout the world - the 'external soul'. A person's spirit is taken from their body and hidden away so they can never be killed, but eventually time and the laws of nature catch up with them.

'A gripping tale... Both magical and superbly true, this new world draws us into universal struggles of survival, loyalty and freedom, as secrets build and break around us like weather.' - Anna Fienberg

  • Short-listed for 2014 2014 (Germany)
  • Short-listed for Aurealis Awards 2014 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for CBCA Book of the Year 2014 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Younger Readers 2013 (Australia)
  • Shortlisted for Children's Book Council of Australia Awards: Book of the Year - Young Readers 2014.
  • Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia): Children's Fiction 2014.
  • Shortlisted for White Ravens Award 2014.
  • Winner of Readings Children's Book Prize 2014.
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