Genre = Children’s fiction, Friendship, Magical Realism
Author = Ewa Jozefkowicz
Where to Buy =
This is about a young girl called Izzy who was in a car accident with her mother and her mother in now in a coma. She feels like her world is only holding on by a thread with just her and her dad. Then Toby moves in next door and something starts to change as things become a little clearer in her life.
I don’t know what I expected from this story but it was a truly beautiful one that captures the struggles of the lives of children today. It’s one that I loved but wanted more from.
Izzy as a character was someone I would have liked to have seen more of her vulnerability just after the accident with her mother to connect with her fully as she was quite a detached narrator. She was interesting to see how she developed as young girl and learning to trust others and herself in life. I think that is something that we don’t realise after a tragic event people don’t seem to trust anything and anyone. Her time with Toby was a heart-warming relationship that you hope they are friends forever. I found her very realistic as her situation of taking on a big part of the parenting role in her situation is so true today of what children’s lives are like.
Toby wow what inspirational character with such a great perspective on life that you wish you could be like him most days. After a skateboarding accident he is paralysed but never gives hope which is why they make such a perfect team. His character was one that was fully formed as soon as he came on the scene which was a nice switch between a main and sub character. Those hard conversations between him and Izzy were so beautifully written and you could feel every emotion from each of them especially him.
In terms of the plot tying in the cygnets growth into their own growth as children and how their friendship blossomed through their love of these animals just warmed my heart. The highs and lows of their lives were at the same time as the cygnets which gives a flow to the story. The tension in some scenes especially along the river I don’t want to give it away but you will be on the edge of your seat. As an ending it is sweet and allows for them to move forward towards better things.
This is a very hard story to read and something that goes along that genre of looking at the struggles of life and how to overcome it. Also it looks at how tragedy effects the way people see you. I think it was beautifully written I just wanted more from the plot and their backstories. This is in the middle grade section I think it is more for 11-12 upwards but if you child has read Boy at the Back of the Class then they are more than capable of reading this book. I will say it does look at the subject of nightmares to warn you. Overall, it’s a human and animal story that will keep you thinking for a long time.
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