top of page
A white girl in a hoodie plays a piano. A colourful swirl of notes, squiggles and birds pour out above the ivory keys.

by Helen Rutter

with illustrations by Elisa Paganelli


Longlisted Little Rebels Award 2024


“I think of all the people I saw playing on the day that I found the piano. They didn’t all look posh and fancy. There must be loads of people like me…who don’t have pianos and can only play at the station. Who don’t have the money or the space or the right life to play anywhere else.”


Lacey Layton’s quick tongue and tough demeanour keep landing her in all sorts of scrapes and bother.  Luckily mum and Auntie Jackie always have her corner, but even that isn’t enough to get Lacey out of being referred by the headteacher for music therapy. Still, as Lacey starts going to music classes, her initial reluctance begins to radically shift, leading to an unexpected love and quite some talent for playing the piano. So when she hears that not only her music teacher is leaving the school but that the local shopping centre piano is about to be removed, it feels as if her newly discovered world is shutting its doors on her. And other people like her. Can she mobilise the local support she needs to save this precious resource?


An insightful and sophisticated commentary on the function of the arts and who does and doesn’t get to access them. Feels acutely relevant at a time when arts funding and provision is being slashed all around us, threatening its return to a guarded space which is only enjoyed and practised by a very small elite. A rare and wonderfully drawn portrayal of a working class family and wider community. Expect you heart to dizzily soar and plummet with Lacey’s hopes and disappointments. Age 8-12, Paperback 93pp


SKU: 3342
£7.99 Regular Price
£7.19Sale Price
    No Outsiders
    bottom of page