The Seventh Raven

Peter Dickinson  - published July 2013


A Notting Hill children’s opera is suddenly on the world stage when terrorists try to kidnap one of the children.

Phoenix Award Winner from the Children’s Literature Association
Going Round by the Byways” (pdf). Acceptance Speech for the Phoenix Award, Buffalo, New York, June 8, 2001

Too old to take part in the annual children’s opera, seventeen-year-old Doll Jacobs makes a place for herself as a junior member of the “opera mafia” who run the show. There are always exactly one hundred children’s roles, but an exception is made for Juan O’Grady, the son of the ambassador from a small South American country, Matteo.

When Mattean terrorists attempt to kidnap him, Juan is hidden amongst the other children and a tense standoff unfolds as the terrorists hold the cast and crew hostage and search for him. Dickinson’s philosophical investigation of whether we can defend “art for art’s sake” is also a taut thriller that will hold readers of all ages to the very end.

“This steady, sober hostage story is not quite a thriller . . . but anyone . . . can be engaged by the argument and enveloped in Dickinson’s carefully textured citadel.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Peter Dickinson’s children’s books:

“One of the real masters of children’s literature.”
—Philip Pullman

“Peter Dickinson is a national treasure.”—The Guardian

“Magnificent. Peter Dickinson is the past-master story-teller of our day.”
Times Literary Supplement

Peter Dickinson OBE is the author of more than fifty books, including many books for children and young adults such as Earth and Air: Tales of Elemental Creatures, Kin, Eva, The Dancing Bear, Emma Tupper’s Diary, and  Michael L. Printz honor book The Ropemaker. He is a two-time winner of both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award and winner of the Guardian and Horn Book Awards. He spent seventeen years working at the magazine Punch. Find out more at


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