Jan Michael
The Rock Boy

When Josephine finds an injured boy in the water at the mouth of a small cove in St Thomas Bay, Malta, some instinct warns her not to tell her family. Perhaps he is a smuggler, or a refugee ...

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192 pages
196x130 mm

Also available as an E-Book (ePub)


A boy is washed up on the rocks in St Thomas Bay, Malta. He is injured and unable to speak. Who is he? What terrible secret is he hiding? All Josephine knows is that he needs her help. She cannot tell her parents in case the boy is one of the refugees her father says should be sent back to their own country.

Jo enlists the help of her friend Andreas. Together they find a hiding place for the rock boy, but it becomes harder and harder to keep their secret. Finally, the only safe place left is The Hypogeum, an ancient underground temple that holds the bones of thousands of people killed in ritual sacrifice...

Born in the Yorkshire Dales, Jan Michael spent an idyllic childhood there and in the Seychelles, also living in Lesotho and Pakistan. Since university, she has worked as an editor and literary agent in London, Amsterdam and Yorkshire. She has written thirteen books which have been published in several languages, including the children’s novels Hill of Darkness, The Rock Boy (also performed as children’s opera in Germany), Just Joshua (winner: Dutch Vlag en Wimpel prize), Leaving Home (winner: Dutch Silver Slate Pencil and the Jenny Smelik-IBBY Prize) and Moorside Boy.

'A fascinating, and topical, variation on the adventure story. Young readers who like a well paced story with secret hiding places, exotic locations and a touch or two of tension will enjoy this novel.'

Robert Dunbar

'This is a sensitive story built around a pacy plot in a historic location that drips with almost tangible atmosphere.'

The Sunday Tribune

'Evocative and haunting.'

Books Ireland
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The Author Speaks

  • The Rock Boy

    Why I wrote The Rock Boy

    Refugees have fled across the Mediterranean towards Europe on many occasions. Jan Michael explains the origins of her story about Artan, washed ashore after the fishing boat he shared with his brother was smashed close to Malta, and Jo, the local girl who saves his life.

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Liz Morris

Rights Held
World ex Dutch

Rights Sold

Other books by this author
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