Book Club: The Hunt for the Nightingale

Book Club: The Hunt for the Nightingale

Discover this month's book

Unearth the healing power of nature in one boy’s heartbreaking and hopeful journey back from the wilderness in our April book club title, The Hunt for the Nightingale by Sarah Ann Juckes (Simon & Schuster). We’re delighted to bring you this deeply moving and beautifully illustrated book to enjoy in a book club setting – whether with friends, family or your school mates.

Read an extract from the book here, or download our questions to use for discussion in your own book club.

Click here to watch all our brilliant videos with Sarah including her favourite book recommendations (also available here). Find out more about what books and reading mean to her and hear her read from her book, The Hunt for the Nightingale.

Don’t forget to check out our latest Book Club snack – this month we’ve been inspired by nature with a no-cook-ball that you can add all your favourite nuts and seeds to. If you were inspired to offer the birds a snack too, you can try this fantastic RSPB pine cone bird feeder activity.

Make sure to leave your review of this month’s Book Club book here.

Please note that this story contains content that might be upsetting for some readers, including bereavement and dealing with anxiety – we advise always reading the text before sharing it with your group.

If you or a child you know are experiencing some of Jasper’s worries described in this book, there is plenty of help available. Ask a teacher or a responsible adult for help, or if you are an adult yourself, advice on grief can be found via Child Bereavement UK, or anxiety through Young Minds

The Hunt for the Nightingale

The Hunt for the Nightingale

Written by: Sarah Ann Juckes
Illustrated by: Sharon King-Chai
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Discover the healing power of nature in one boy’s heartbreaking and hopeful journey back from the wilderness.

Bird fact no. 30: a nightingale song is one of the most beautiful sounds on the planet. 

Ten-year-old Jasper has been waiting all spring for his beloved nightingale to return to his garden and sing.  But it’s not there, and neither is his sister, Rosie.  His parents seem sad and preoccupied,  so gathering his courage, his backpack and his treasured Book of Birds, Jasper sets out alone on a walk to find them both.  The expedition takes Jasper through town and country, meeting a host of characters who are also searching for lost things. Helping his new friends, Jasper begins to see that he may not find what he is looking for when he reaches the journey’s end, but even in the darkest of moments, a nightingale’s song can be heard somewhere.

A love letter to the natural world, Sarah Ann Juckes’ stunning middle grade novel will leave you with tears in your eyes and a heart full of hope. For fans of Pax, Wonder and Wild Child.

Discover our Q&A video with Sarah Ann Juckes and hear about what books and reading mean to her. You can also read an extract from the book and download our questions to spark discussions in your own Book Club!

All our Book Club titles including The Hunt for the Nightingale are available to buy online here.

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About the author

Sarah Ann Juckes

Sarah Ann Juckes writes books for young people. Her YA debut Outside (Penguin) was nominated for the Carnegie Medal Award 2020, shortlisted for Mslexia’s Children’s Novel Award, and longlisted for the Bath Novel Award. Her second YA novel, The World Between Us was published in March 2021, and The Hunt for the Nightingale is her first Middle Grade Novel. She works with writers from all over the world via Jericho Writers and is on the board for Creative Future – a charity supporting under-represented writers. You can often find her hibernating in her writing shed in East Sussex, with her cat.

About the illustrator

Sharon King-Chai

Sharon King-Chai is an award-winning designer and illustrator.

Born in Australia to Chinese-Malaysian parents, she moved to London in 2003, after studying Visual Communication. She fell in love with storytelling through music and books- and found her niche working as a designer in music and publishing industries. This eventually led to her creating her own books. 

Sharon has a great passion for experimenting and innovation, and loves exploring format, narrative and new characters. She also loves using unusual materials, and references nature a lot in her artwork. Ingredients often include potatoes, blackberries, onions, feathers and sticks.

Video Q&A

Take Part

Discover all the ways you can get involved in our Book Club. Join the crew and tell us what you thought of this month’s title, discover other brilliant books in our gallery of reading recommendations, stay updated by signing up to our newsletter and make some tasty book-themed snacks for your Book Club!