"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.