Where are you going, Billy?
I’m going south.
And why, Billy-who’s-going-south?
Because I made a promise.
When he finds out from the BBC that the Prime Minister is also ill, Billy Hoopdriver decides to run away from his working-class home in Liverpool without telling his father. He travels the 200 miles separating him from the little seaside town of Kewstoke on Azzurra (the mountain bike he has painstakingly assembled piece by piece) with the sole aim of reaching his grandfather’s care home as soon as possible, because he made a promise: if anything happens, kid, come straight here, OK?
Hoopdriver is the story of
Billy’s journey on his bicycle, the route he chooses along the country paths of England and Wales.
The historic and beautiful locations he sees.
The people he meets along the way: Jo, the Deliveroo guy who dreams of studying engineering; Annabelle, whose hair he cuts by night, and her brother Emmett, who laughs at swear words; Shackleton, the dog, who will follow him for the rest of his journey; Mr Richmal, who repairs Azzurra and helps him discover the world of nocturnal moths; the three sisters of the waterfall, who live alone in a country house, waiting for their mother.
- But above all, it’s the story of his thoughts, memories of his grandfather’s stories, all linked to music personalities of the seventies, who he claims to have met and know well: from David Bowie to Keith Richards, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Robert Wyatt of Soft Machine.
Pierdomenico grew up in an old house with a library containing more than 20,000 volumes. A writer and journalist, his books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into over 30 languages. Today he is considered one of the greatest Italian children’s authors.