Author(s): Mal Peet
An uplifting tale evoking the golden sands of Africa by Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet and his wife, Elspeth Graham, captivatingly illustrated by P.J. Lynch.
Already an old man, desert guide Issa has seen thousands of dawns. One particular morning, however, the desert reveals something new; something that changes his life. Tucked away in a narrow cave, shielded from a treacherous dust storm by a faithful camel, a baby girl lies wrapped in fine cotton and wearing half of a star medallion around her neck. Issa names the girl Mariama. As years pass, Issa loses his sight, and Mariama becomes his eyes. So Issa doesn't see the pattern on the robes of a mysterious young traveler who comes through their village, or the medallion he wears. Who is this young stranger, and what does his arrival mean for the life Issa and Mariama share in the desert?
Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham live in Devon, England, in a house not too far from the sea. Elspeth Graham found the seed for this story while writing a book about tea. Mal Peet is the author of such YA novels as "Keeper"; "The Penalty"; "Exposure"; "Life: An Exploded Diagram," a "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Honor Book; and the Carnegie Medal-winning Tamar.
P.J. Lynch is one of the most talented illustrators working today. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, and three of his books, including "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey," have been awarded the Christopher Medal. He lives in Dublin.