Saturday 8 March 2014

Recommendation: Girl With A White Dog by Anne Booth

I like to think I have many good points as a book reviewer, but I'm conscious of my weaknesses. One of them is that I sometimes feel I rave about some books too much, building them up to a level where people may feel the novel can't live up to my hype. Even though I only really go overboard for stuff I think is completely wonderful, I've recognised this and am making a real effort to be more restrained in my praise recently.

Bearing that in mind, Girl With A White Dog is firstly, the best book I've ever read for this age range; secondly, the best book of the year so far for any age range (yes, beating out the superb Far From You by Tess Sharpe), and thirdly, the one book I would most want EVERY school librarian to go out and buy multiple copies of. It's a book which, as the back cover quote 'A Story To Change Hearts And Minds' suggests, will help shape the way children (and adults) look at the world. It's a book which will completely devastate you with its brilliant voice, wonderful plot, and massively important messages - about forgiveness, family, learning from history, and doing the right thing. It's a book with brilliant characters who are compelling to read about and are well-rounded, flawed individuals. And it's a book which is likely to bring so many prizes to Anne Booth that if there's any justice in the world of book judging, she should reinforce her mantelpiece now. Highest possible recommendation; I'll be buying a second copy to lend out to people as soon as I get a chance. (And some tissues for them as well!)

(I know I haven't actually mentioned ANYTHING about what it's about, by the way - that's completely intentional. The less you know, the more powerful this read will be. I'd avoid even reading the blurb!)

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