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The Hideaway

Pam Smy

Pavilion Children's


ISBN: 9781843654797

Price: £ 14.99

Publication date: 9 September 2021

ISBN: 9781843655220

ASIN: 9781843655220

Price: £ 9.99

  Our price: £

Publication date: 9 September 2021

Category: Fiction

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The Hideaway by Pam Smy is a work of art. Smy is the genius writer and illustrator of the stunning Thornhill. Smy takes children’s books to another level. Highly recommend.’ 

– David Walliams


The wonderful long-awaited second novel from Pam Smy, celebrated author and illustrator of Thornhill.

The Hideaway tells the story of a boy, Billy McKenna, who runs away from a difficult situation at home and takes refuge in an overgrown graveyard. While hiding there he meets an elderly man who is tending the graves in preparation for a day in November when something magical is set to happen.

The book is written in two alternating narratives, both different aspects of the same story. One thread tells of Billy’s experience of hiding away in the graveyard, his mixed-up feelings and emotions, and the supernatural events he eventually witnesses. The other tells of his mother’s situation at home and the police search for Billy. Covering themes of family, childhood, separation and reunion, domestic violence and doing the right thing, this is an important and beautiful book for middle grade readers right up to adults.

Billy’s story is illustrated throughout with tonal and textured black and white drawings, until the event on All Souls’ Eve, when the text gives way to a series of double page images of the supernatural happening.

The Hideaway is a compelling, exciting and emotional story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.



Pam Smy studied Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, where she now lectures part-time. Pam has illustrated books by Conan Doyle (The Hound of the Baskervilles), Julia Donaldson (Follow the Swallow) and Kathy Henderson (Hush, Baby, Hush!), among others. She lives in Cambridge. Her first novel, Thornhill was a critical and commercial success, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the UKLA Book Awards, and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 and winning the 2018 British Book Design & Production Award for Graphic Novels.



'The Hideaway by Pam Smy is a work of art. Smy is [a] genius writer and illustrator... and takes children's books to another level. Highly recommend.'

David Walliams

'The new book by the amazingly gifted Pam Smy ... What an exquisite and beguiling interweaving of word and image.'

Anthony McGowan

'Partly told in atmospheric black-and-white images, this is a book about a serious issue that also offers warmth and magic.'

The Sunday Times

'A deeply touching, highly illustrated story ... Smy's poignant book conveys the small cruelties of domestic abuse and the abiding, ineffable power of love via restrained text and expressive black-and-white images'

The Guardian

‘Heartbreaking yet heartwarming … Smy’s artwork lends the book a wintry, dramatic feel, but when it comes time for the spirits of the graveyard to be reunited, her spreads are full of joy.'

Book Trust

'Powerful and moving ... Sensitively told, the story is emotionally charged, lingering with the reader long after reading ... Beautifully produced ... with wonderful black and white pictures ... Atmospheric and touching, ‘The Hideaway’ is a beautifully told, sensitive story.'

North Somerset Teachers Book Award

'Atmospheric greyscale illustrations on every page of Billy’s story extend our understanding and deepen the emotional impact of the text… The emotional arc of the story is well-paced and judged… the framing of Billy’s real-world experiences within an illustrated ghost-story enables complex ideas and emotions to be explored in a sensitive and age-appropriate way.'

Books for Keeps

‘Every so often a story comes along that sticks with you long after you've read it, and we think the tale of Billy McKenna in The Hideaway will have that effect on a lot of people… Utterly compelling’


'The power of Smy’s book lies in its meticulous description of the emotions surrounding domestic violence and the detailed steps that might be taken in the hope of resolving such a situation. The book is beautifully illustrated, containing one section that is deliberately wordless, thus refuting the proposition sometimes advanced that illustrated books are only appropriate for younger readers'

Armadillo magazine

'Pam Smy has absolutely gone and done it again, you know ... She crafts a deeply sensitive and emotionally complex story yet tells it with such a masterful touch that it will stay with you for days, months, years ... A delicate fusion between word and image in which the latter dances across the closing pages to a most beautiful, haunting melody ... A huge achievement.'

Mat Tobin, education influencer

‘It is so beautiful & sad & hopeful & heartbreaking’

Caroline Fielding

‘The Hideaway is a work of art … Author/illustrator Pam Smy and the design team at Pavilion Books have created a masterpiece … Even better than the story … are the illustrations. I’m not sure that I have the vocabulary to share how captivated I am by them. I want to use words like entrancing, evocative, haunting, illuminating’

Pictures and Conversations

‘A stunningly atmospheric book [with] fabulous endpapers and amazing black and white illustrations… a moving and gripping story’

Get Kids into Books

“A real surprise and treat… sounds like it’s going to be a really fantastic story… beautiful endpapers… gorgeous, gorgeous black and white drawings.”,

Mrs Brown’s Book Box

‘Pam Smy has created another utterly stunning, magical, emotive, powerful, heart-rending, beautifully written and illustrated story in The Hideaway. Couldn’t put it down!’

Mike Watson

'Just read this in one sitting. Wow! 5 out of 5 stars for this emotional story… beautifully written & illustrated by Pam Smy'

Barbara Band

'Expect the unexpected with this moving tale ... an important story beautifully told and illustrated'

The Book Activist

'A wonderfully atmospheric story ... published in a stunning, beautifully designed hardback edition with shiny, black sprayed edges. The Hideaway is a poignant and powerful story about love and loss, and finding the strength to overcome trauma'

Get Kids Into Books

'A truly haunting story ...  one of those powerful stories that will stay with you for a long time… This is a beautiful book whose emotive, shadowy illustrations and evocative descriptions create a perfect ghostly atmosphere to the story'

Mrs Brown's Book Box

'A beautifully produced story ... My expectations of ‘The Hideaway’ were high. Well let me tell you, she has crafted another beautifully told tale interwoven with atmospheric greyscale illustrations'

Library Girl and Book Boy

‘We are loving the latest book by Pam Smy … An autumnal stunner to cherish and read again!’

Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books

'Oh good golly!'

Mat Tobin

'This will be a treat'

Katherine Woodfine

'Very excited to start reading this'

Jenny Jacoby

'Absolutely marvellous. I could say more but don’t want to give any spoilers! … Preorder now!'

Adele Geras




  • The Hideaway Resource Pack UK

    This resource pack includes discussion points and activities designed for use for book groups, KS2 & KS3 teachers & librarians.