This book, clearly aimed at eight to eleven-year-old readers, is written in a comforting style and outlines the breakdown of a family, the development of a new one and the challenges faced when change is thrust upon an eight-year-old girl.
Written from the view point of Claire, the child, her perceptions and feelings are clearly expressed and the message that the separation is in no part her fault, is delicately and continually enforced as the story continues. Her need to accept change, some of which are quite extreme, and the way she is made to feel loved adds another layer to the tale.
Although, as many children will do, Claire feels unheard, Bates shows, time and time again, the difference between that feeling and the amount of time and care that Claire’s mother and new boyfriend actually put into listening and supporting her transition through this time of uncertainty.
This is a well-written and easy to read story that uses language and experiences that will resonate with any ‘tween’. Dianne Bates has provided a book that encourages embracing new beginnings and allowing love back after hurt.
A book not only for young people who are experiencing the pain of separation but also a feel-good story for the young reader.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Released by: Big Sky Publishing
Release Date: April 2017
RRP: $14.99 paperback, $8.02 eBook