Author(s): Julie Hunt
The button-box gave a gasp as if it was struggling for breath. Then it took off!Ellie remembers telling stories about the Gleam country as a small child - a land far from Spit Farm and the mountains, with talking goats, sweet grass, and corn that grew so high you had to fell it with an axe. She thinks they were only stories - until, on his deathbed, her pop reveals a magical musical instrument: a button-box from the Gleam country itself.But the instrument's magic is sinister. At first flowers bloom and crops spring up overnight, but soon Ellie's farm is cursed by drought and her beloved oma is gravely ill, and Ellie must set out with only her horse and beloved goat on a dangerous journey through a desperate land.On the way, Ellie meets Meridian, a fortune teller, and Luca, son of a rainmaker - and is shadowed by a terrifying stranger. To save her oma and discover the truth about her own identify, she must reach the Gleam country - the only place where the evil button-box can be destroyed.
Julie Hunt loves poetry, storytelling and traditional folktales. Her debut novel Song for a Scarlet Runner won the inaugural Readings Children's Book Prize and her graphic novel KidGlovz (illustrated by Dale Newman) won the 2016 Queensland Premier's Literary Award. She also writes books for younger readers. Her picture book, The Coat (illustrated by Ron Books), won the 2013 CBCA Picture Book of the Year. She lives on a farm in southern Tasmania and works in a library.