The haunted piccolo ISBN: 9781843622697
Published by Orchard, 2005
Luke is sad. Since losing his well-loved dad to a sudden heart attack, he and his mum and gran have had to move house, and Luke is going to an inner city school where he encounters Gobby, Clobber and Cal, bullies extraordinary. They destroy his beloved flute, a present from his father, and make life a misery. Luke's mum is no help, but gran understands his need and promises to buy him another instrument. Together, they visit a mysterious music shop where a beautiful old piccolo catches Luke's eye. With it he can make soaring sounds, and he insists it must be his. Gran is hesitant; there is something odd about it all. But when he brings the instrument home, he begins to sense that the piccolo has strange powers. It reflects his feelings of anger and spite and does terrible things to the bullies because he wants them done. The horror builds, and Luke seems to have lost control. But with the help of Gobby, the main bully, and the old man from the music shop, the black shadow who haunts the piccolo is defeated, and Luke can find real pleasure in his talent. The bullies join the school orchesta too, which may be a tad unreal! But nevermind. This is a hugely atmospheric, enjoyable read, and Luke learns to stand up for himself without the help of magic.