The Song of Lewis Carmichael

Sofie Laguna

The Song of Lewis Carmichael
Allen & Unwin
31 August 2021

The Song of Lewis Carmichael

Sofie Laguna

Matthew stood on the snowy peak and stared out at the world spread before him. Every picture in his books had been limited by the size of the page, contained within frames. Here, there was no frame. Here, the picture didn’t end. Beyond those icy plains, the sea, and beyond the sea, a land that floated on the ice, drifting northwards. Matthew put the binoculars to his eyes and saw valleys and cliffs and rivers all made of snow. Everywhere was white.

Matthew has dreamed and read and thought about the North Pole for as long as he can remember. And he has done it secretly. It is a place that cannot be tarnished by the world in which he lives - a world in which he struggles to find answers and make friends, while everything seems to come easily to other children.

But one day, a crow called Lewis Carmichael lands at Matthew’s window - a crow who believes in Matthew in the most simple and ordinary ways. Soon, the unexpected voyage of a lifetime begins, and it will change everything…

An unforgettable adventure story from award-winning children’s book author Sofie Laguna, with enchanting illustrations by Marc McBride.


This utterly exquisite adventure story about travelling in a hot air balloon on the boreal winds to the Arctic north has all the hallmarks of a contemporary classic.

Matthew is a quiet, reserved boy – he struggles to fit in and feels his solitary nature is a disappointment to his parents. He is secretly obsessed with the Arctic and has read many books about the harsh landscape and the remarkable animals that live there. Feeding a bird with a broken wing at the park becomes the precursor to an incredible journey with the talking bird, known as Lewis Carmichael, to the Arctic. Matthew is challenged and encouraged by Lewis Carmichael as they travel, and he becomes more confident in his abilities. The two of them have an extraordinary adventure that changes them both forever.

This is a classic hero’s journey written with great sensitivity by award-winning author Sofie Laguna. The story is complemented by beautiful line drawings rendered in blue by Marc McBride. It’s an utter delight for readers ages 9+ and will be a magical read-aloud for younger audiences as well.

Angela Crocombe is the kids book buyer at Readings.

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