Very powerful book, very moving-reduced me to tears. Had me gripped all day. Started last night, took it with me in the car so in between visits to trainee teachers I could read it. Completely absorbed in well known coffee shop in Stowmarket during that 'between visits' lunchtime and then couldn't put it down until I'd got to the end this evening. Hence this rather late blog. 10+ I think with some big messages in there -beautifully written with an uplifting use of stories.
"Once, when I was little, I had a story book. A real book, with pages and pictures, and it was all mine. It was about a mouse who was a detective, and he went everywhere looking for clues. I loved that book so much that I read it every day, sometimes three or four times. It was old and battered before I had it-Potta had found it on a rubbish dump-and after so many readings, it fell apart completely. Then, one day, Vivie got hold of one of the pages and tried to eat it. She was only a baby at the time, but I was so upset I cried for a week. I treasured that book - not just because it was a thing that belonged to me, but also because it gave me a glimpse of another world."
The power of those stories is conveyed in a clever thread running throughout. Amina is the story teller of her family. Although she doesn't realise at the time her stories become the key to survival, not just for her family but for others too. Just a really excellent read-and please do, it's an important book. It makes you think. It's one that, as Neil Gamain writes much more eloquently than me, enables readers to go somewhere difficult but very fortunately for most of us it is something hopefully we will not have to experience in reality.
BUT that's why WE MUST READ AND READ.