A timely, contemporary novel challenging ideas around health – our own and our planet's – and the stigma that persists around illness, by Printz Medallist and internationally bestselling novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.
Ash has lived in eight states in as many years. Mom has gone walkabout, but stepdad Jack is like a father, and stepbrother Bly the best anyone could wish for. When Bly goes missing too, Ash sets off to search for him – and finds something much bigger: the sickness of the world.
Arriving in Snowflake, Arizona, Ash discovers Bly living with a community 6000 feet high in the wide red desert. They call themselves the Canaries and all suffer from some kind of environmental illness. They are ostracised by modern society, as it continues to ignore climate change, global warming and so much more of our self-inflicted poisoning of the planet. When Ash takes ill, the doctor's response is, 'it's all in your mind'. In a story spanning seven years with triumphs and tragedies, Ash learns how to live as the world is pushed to a point of no return. This humane and deeply thoughtful novel is about resilience, trust, family and love.