Kiran wrote... A Secret of Birds & Bone


Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Month. A Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year. A Guardian Book of the Year. A The Big Issue Book of the Year.

The spellbinding new novel from the bestselling author of The Girl of Ink & Stars, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

In an Italian city ravaged by plague, Sofia’s mother carves beautiful mementos from the bones of loved ones. But one day, she doesn’t return home. Did her work lead her into danger? Sofia and her little brother Ermin are sent to the convent orphanage but soon escape, led by an enigmatic stranger, and their pet crow, Corvith.

Together they cross the city underground, following clues in bones up to the towers of Siena, where – circled by magpies – the children find the terrible truth …

Pre-order here.


This is another page-turner that enchants with its magic realism and originality.

Kitty Empire, The Guardian

The multi-talented Millwood Hargrave returns to children’s fiction with an atmospheric story of mothers lost and daughters found that casts a spell from the opening line.

Sarah Hughes, The i

A dark and mesmerising historical adventure, set against the atmospheric backdrop of Renaissance Siena.

Fiona Noble, Editor's Choice, The Bookseller

Sofia’s mother is a bonebinder, crafting charms to ward off sickness, and she has promised Sofia a wonderful 12th birthday. But before the celebrations can begin, she is arrested, leaving Sofia with her brother, a pet crow, and one final gift. Journey with her as she explores every corner of Siena in this future classic.

Marianne Levy, The i

A compelling tale, A Secret of Birds and Bone is Kiran Millward Hargrave at her best. Set against the beauty of Sienna with its Piazza del Campo and stunning cathedral, the story is an original and mesmerising read of friendship and family, of secrets and betrayal, of love and loyalty.

Sue Wishler, Reading Zone