Swan Song is a very special book by Gill Lewis. It’s a melancholic journey through a young boy’s mental health struggles (and how he climbs out of them), depicted in a gentle, not-too-heavy way.
Dylan is a boy who isn’t suited for school. He gets into all kinds of trouble because he simply cannot handle being told what to do. And the work is just too much for him. Eventually, he is expelled for punching his best friend and his mum takes Dylan to live with his Grandad in the middle of nowhere in Wales.
After some initial struggles with the change, Dylan’s mind starts to slow down…and Gill has cleverly written the book so that the reader really feels Dylan’s mind become calmer as the story moves along.
Dylan’s Grandad takes him fishing out on a boat and Dylan learns about the Swan Fields on the estuary banks. He helps rescue an injured swan, that later becomes his “saviour” because she helps him see he can still have a relevant, purposeful life even if he can’t go to school.
Some parts of the story are quite sad, but the whole book is very realistic and generally uplifting.