Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker, spending his quiet, solitary days creating the final resting places of Allora’s people. Until the day a mysterious boy and his magical bird arrive – flying from danger and searching for a safe haven. Tito is fearful, suspicious of kindness, but as the winter days grow colder and darker, Alberto’s home grows warmer and brighter.
Can Tito and his bird be sheltered from the town’s prying eyes and the shadows of their past? A story of life and death and of how hope can burn bright in a place faded by sadness.
Matilda Woods was born in 1989 and has been writing stories for the last seven years. She grew up in a small town near Canberra, Australia and splits her time between writing middle-grade fiction and working as a youth worker. When she was younger she loved reading fantasy novels but now writes in the genre of magical realism.
The idea for The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker, her first published novel, came to her one evening while out running with her dog, Lily. From this speck of an idea grew a tale that spans one year in the lives of two people: a frightened boy named Tito Bonito and a lonely old coffin maker named Alberto. Together, they dream of a future where they can both be free and then, with courage, set sail to find it.
Matilda graduated from Monash University in 2016 with a Masters of Social Work and hopes to continue working with (and writing for) children for many years to come.