Secret Heart, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Joe lives with his mother in Helmouth, a forgotten village crumbling on the edge of the suburbs.

His days are spent trying to evade the demands of school and the taunts of the local bullies.

Joe's friend, Stanny, insists that Joe must toughen up, become a survivor - and he is adamant that a weekend in the wilderness with Stanny and his Uncle Joff will do the trick. Into Joe's unhappy world comes Hackenschmidt's Circus, and with it the strangely familiar Corinna.

She tells Joe, 'In the circus there is a secret heart ' - a place of contained wildness where the barriers between the human and animal world are fluid. And indeed, Joe's dreams are already stalked by a tiger, so real that his skin and its pelt begin to feel as one...A stunning novel from the author of the modern children's classic Skellig - winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book Award.

David Almond is also winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen award.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780340944981



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Once again David Almond writes a story that is at once accessible and profound. Once again his prose blurs the distinctions between the real and the imagined, and we enter into a world which feels real and yet has a hint of the magical about it.Joe Malone is a loner. He prefers teh open countryside to being cramped in school. He is surrounded by people trying to make him fit with their definition of what a man should be. When a small and dying circus comes to town, he finds a kindred spirit. In particular he finds someone who understands the reality of his secret heart.This is not a long book. Had it been longer the adults might be more fleshed out and less inclined to just induce conflict. But the book works as it is, and the conflicts of societies expectations and our own desires, and so much more are all explored here in another wonderful tale by this first rate author.

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