Born with a serious heart condition, Dara has been waiting for his Big Operation forever, and this summer it’s finally going to happen. The moment his heart is fixed he’ll row out to the island in the bay all by himself, just like he’s always dreamed. But when his op is postponed, Dara snaps. When will he get to live his real life? Maybe the adventures he dreams of are just silly fantasies?

And then he finds a girl hiding in the boat shed. She wears animal skins. She has a real, live, pet wolf. She is, simply, impossible. Could Mothgirl really be from the Stone Age? And what is she seeking on Lathrin Island? As Dara and Mothgirl set out on a wild, windswept sea journey, Dara begins to realise that when you stop worrying about what’s impossible, you can do anything.



MEET THE AUTHOR!

Sophie Kirtley shares the inspirations behind her brand-new book…

Hi Sophie! Your book travels through time to the Stone Age! Why did you want to set the story in this period?

The Stone Age is SO mysterious. Think about Stonehenge, for example – no one knows for sure why it was built, and I love this uncertainty! I love wondering why Stone Age people did the things they did; and I really love weaving these fascinating mysteries into my stories. 


Your book features a wolf called ByMySide. How did you research this creature?


I visited a real-life wolf pack [where?] and was fascinated to see how wolves communicate with each other. They don’t just use their voices, they use their whole bodies – from their ears to their tails. A tiny movement can show a change in mood or give a message to other wolves in the pack. 

Have you had any other memorable encounters with wild animals?

One day I was scrambling up an overgrown hill in Oxfordshire when an animal appeared out of nowhere; a creature I had NEVER seen before. It was the size and shape of a medium dog, but had pig-like ears and eyes
like a deer. I genuinely thought I’d encountered a new species, but I later found out it was actually a muntjac deer!

The main character Dara has a serious heart condition. What inspired you to write about this?

When I was a girl, my own little sister, Amy, was born with a small hole in her heart. Luckily, Amy didn’t need extensive treatment or operations like Dara does in The Way to Impossible Island, and although she had to have lots of check-ups throughout her childhood Amy’s heart is fine now. I tried to write very carefully and caringly about Dara’s heart condition, knowing that this is something that might touch on the experiences of many readers.

How did you come up with the character of Mothgirl?

Mothgirl was a character in my first book, The Wild Way Home, but she was only a tiny Stone Age baby then. I really wanted to give her her own story as I kept imagining her future life, wondering what would be in
store for her. In The Way to Impossible Island, Mothgirl grows up headstrong and determined, living outside the conventions of what is expected of Stone Age girls in her world. Through her, Dara learns to accept who he is and to celebrate it – he dares to be different!

Is Impossible Island a real place?

It’s inspired by Rathlin Island, near where I grew up in Northern Ireland. It’s an amazing place – very rugged and windswept – and it’s home to some extraordinary animals. Puffins nest there in the spring, grey seals snooze on the rocks, and rare golden hares with blue eyes hide in the long grass. It’s magical!

What do you hope readers will take from this story?

It’s a story about accepting yourself for who you are and celebrating everybody’s uniqueness. I hope the book gives readers a real sense that no matter what difficulties life throws your way, everyone is capable of impossibly wonderful things!



THE WAY TO IMPOSSIBLE ISLAND

Check out the second unforgettable time slip adventure by Sophie Kirtley!


Learn more at bloomsbury.com
Available from all good bookshops and online retailers

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