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When the Sky Falls
Released the same day as the standard print edition
When the Sky Falls
Written by:
Phil Earle 
Read by:
Phil Earle 
Unabridged CD Audio Book 
Number of CDs:
6 hours 57 minutes 
June 03 2021 
Available Date:
June 03 2021 
Age Category:
Children (10+) 
Fiction; Animals; Children; Children's Fiction; War Fiction 
Bolinda audio 
Bolinda price
NZD$ 29.95
NZD$ 29.95

Award winning author

Shortlisted The Carnegie Medal 2022
Winner Nibbie's Children's Book of the Year / Book of the Year 2022

'A magnificent deserves every prize going.'
Phillip Pullman, award winning author of His Dark Materials series

When the Sky Falls is a new title from Phil Earle, inspired by a true story.

It’s 1940, and Joseph has been packed off to stay with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no great fondness for children. To Joseph’s amazement, she owns the rundown city zoo where Joseph meets Adonis, a huge silverback gorilla. Adonis is ferociously strong and dangerous, but Joseph finds he has an affinity with the lonely beast. But when the bombs begin to fall, it is up to Joseph to guard Adonis’s cage should it be damaged by a blast. Will Joseph be ready to pull the trigger if it comes to it?

‘A raw, touching tale of a boy in WWII Britain whose biggest war is with himself. Powerful, convincing, full of heart and love’
Michelle Harrison, bestselling author of A Pinch of Magic

'An extraordinary story with historical and family truth at its heart, that tells us as much about the present as the past. Deeply felt, movingly written, a remarkable achievement.'
Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse

'Complex, dark, intense and mysterious, When the Sky Falls is an astounding work of fiction. For years now Earle has been one of our finest writers for young people and here he is at the height of his considerable powers.'
Anthony McGowan, author of Lark

'Phil Earle writes from the heart: a story about love and friendship and how animals can connect people in the darkest of times and allow them to heal.'
Gill Lewis, author of Sky Hawk

'A bold and beautiful story.'
Abi Elphinstone

‘Kes meets The Machine Gunners in a story that made me think and feel and remember why we need to love and be loved’
Tom Palmer

‘Packed with adventure, mystery and a whole lot of heart, When the Sky Falls feels like an instant classic.’
Lisa Williamson

‘I knew I was going to love it from the opening lines’
Marcus Sedgwick, Guardian

‘I was gripped by this powerful story of friendship set against the backdrop of the blitz. I read it in one breathless sitting and felt like I was walking alongside Joseph every step of the way. It’s a raw, beautifully told story.’
Jenny McLachlan

‘Beautifully written, heart tugging and fierce. I loved it’
Jenny Downham

‘Enormously powerful and vivid – a real heart-wrenching evocation of the Blitz’
Lissa Evans

‘A lovingly crafted piece of work with a powerful emotional adventure at its heart.’
Melvin Burgess

‘A powerful, remarkable story. It is heart-soaringly wonderful’
Jennifer Bell