Night Flight ISBN: 9781845076740
Published by Frances Lincoln Childrens Books, 2008
Danni is a refugee, from which country we are not told, but it is warm and bright where he comes from, and England is cold and grey. He lives with a foster mother in a tower block. She tries to be kind, but Danni's English is very poor, and she is no substitute for his parents and family who were left behind on the night the soldiers came. He has no idea what has happened to them, and he probably never will. To add to Danni's heartache, he is bullied at school by Kris, Keifer and Kevin, the three Ks, and bullying is not a concept he has come across before. On a school visit to a city farm, Danni sees a sick, tired horse, and he and the horse develop an affinity. Danni spends time with Moonlight as he names her, crooning to her in his own language and grooming her. When she dies, he is bereft and can only find solace in the local library where he sees pictures of a unicorn and comes to believe that Moonlight was a magical beast who can fly. When he dreams one night that she comes to him and carries him off into the sky, he begins to come to terms with his outward circumstances, and we see hope dawn. Beautifully written, this short novel cannot be bettered for understanding what it is like to find oneself in a totally different culture with no skills for coping.