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A beautifully characterised and engaging story about chidren going through the care system during the Thatcher years, and how friendship and sibling relationships sustained them through growing up and finding a home
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2017 | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award
This moving story of looked-after children describes the difficulties they face, but is nonetheless uplifting. Ira and her little brother Zac live in Skilly House, what Tracy Beaker would call a dumping ground. There are things they like about it including the staff, kindly Hortense and Silas who was in care himself, though not stern Mrs Clark. They love the garden, with its huge tree. Carved into the trunk is a name, Glenda Hyacinth, 1947. Ira decides Glenda must be a ghost (the story is set in the late 1980s) and imagines she sees her playing in the garden. Holiday visits to a lady in the country lead to a permanent home, but Ira is sad to leave Skilly House, especially as by then she’s learned something surprising about Glenda. Children will be caught up in Ira and Zac’s story from the first page, and will understand them perfectly by the last.
Subtle and beautifully told this will appeal to readers who have enjoyed The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson.
A Piece of Passion from the Editor : “This is the only time a book has ever made me sob in a hairdressers. The voice is so strong and so immediate, I couldn’t stop reading. It gave me that tingly ‘we must have this’ feeling which was why I sent it to everyone else at Nosy Crow immediately. And I started reading it to my ten-year-old, who loved it too, and finished it on his own. It’s a very special book.”
The Branford Boase Award Judges' Comments - ‘well-constructed and full of emotional intelligence’; ‘interesting: a quiet, unconventional story in an ambitious form’; ‘beautifully described relationships and characters you remember’.
It's 1987 and Ira and Zac are being uprooted once again, this time to Skilly House, a home for social care children. Their lives over the next few years are beautifully realised amongst the antipathy of the authorities, the drama of the poll tax riots and the moments of peace and hope Ira finds at Skilly and further afield. This is memorable and moving tale about growing up, making friends and finding a home.
Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
|Publication date:||5th May 2016|
|Author:||S. E. Durrant|
|Publisher:||Nosy Crow Ltd|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, General Fiction|
|Recommendations:||eBooks, Reviewed by Children|
|Other Categories:||All Shortlists and Winners, UKLA 2017|
S.E. Durrant has wanted to be a writer since she was a child and has always squeezed writing in around the edges of her life. She spent her childhood in Scotland before moving to Leicestershire when she was twelve. She studied Fine Art (painting) and then travelled widely before settling in south London. She has taken on many jobs including working on a stall at Covent Garden market, selling paintings in Venice and teaching art to children. For many years she worked on research bids at the University of London. She now lives in Brighton with her partner and ...More About S. E. Durrant
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