This month our Director, Alison Palmer – no relation of the author, Tom Palmer! – shares her what to read now recommendations.
After the War – Tom Palmer (suggestion for ages 9+)
The story follows three boys Yossi, Mordecai and Leo as they travel from Auschwitz to Ambleside. They are uncertain whether they will really be safe as they have been lied to so many times, but Talia who travels with them provides reassurance.
The book moves between their stories – before the war with their families, to life in the ghetto and the concentration camps, detailing the barbarity and the struggle to survive. How do you recover from all that the children witnessed and the loss that they endured?
Tom’s research is impeccable, and the characters he writes are real. You will really want to read the story and find out what happens to them.
Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence (suggestion for ages 13+)
Eight pieces of Silva is a beautifully written mystery. Patrice’s characters are well-rounded, believable, imperfect humans which means you care what happens to them as you strap in for the ride, and the story stays with you. I think Becks might be my favourite character: feisty, fun and trying to do the right thing which doesn’t always work out for the best.
As she discovers what her sister has really been up to in the last few months, it is clear that you can never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life until you see things from their point of view. With loss as the central theme, this novel explores the true meaning of friendship. There’s humour, love, laughter, great music and the possibility of second chances.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (suggestion for ages 16+)
Written in verse and beautifully illustrated, as if it were a notebook or diary, the book tells the engaging story of The Black Flamingo taking to the stage. For his whole life, he has been waiting to show the world who he really is:
‘He is me, who I have been, who I am, who I hope to become. Someone fabulous, wild and strong. With or without a costume on.’
The story is about accepting who you are and how to choose how to live your life. It’s about finding out the real meaning of friendship and the twists and turns along the way. The book is clever and unique, with a lead character who we want to succeed (who also has a great mum!).
We always like to hear your book recommendations, so please do share them! Happy reading.