Flora Barnes (aka Flossie) lives with her mom, her mom’s husband and their son. She loves her mom, but she also loves her Dad. Her Dad, Charlie, loves her more than anyone or anything in the world. When Flossie’s step-father, Steve, suddenly gets promoted and transferred to Australia for six months, Floss has to choose between staying with Charlie in Britain or going with her mother’s new family half-way across the world. Once Flossie chooses her Dad, we discover that things are not going too well for Charlie and that not everyone thinks that she made the right choice.
I love Jacqueline Wilson‘s works. She writes about real children in real situations, but not in a boring, pedantic or “instructive” manner. Although, we examine divorce, friendship, appearances vs. reality and bullying in this book, it never feels like an after-school special.
The back cover of Ouida Sebestyen’s Words By Heart implies that Lena’s father is murdered as the book’s starting point, but instead it was actually the climax of the book’s action. I felt like Words by Heart should have been about 4 times longer. The denouement was too quick and easy. The entire novel should have been a building up to Lena’s father’s murder so that we could go on a journey with Lena. We should have followed Lena for years and years after the murder; watching her psychological journey toward accepting her father’s teaching. This book was not a journey, as it should have been. Instead it was an introduction and the conclusion of a much longer but, unfortunately, non-existent novel. I was disappointed.
Becoming Verbal with Childhood Apraxia: New Insights on Piaget for Today’s Therapy
Pam Marshalla has written a well-explained, easy-to-read book about childhood apraxia. It was not jargon-filled and very accessible. A short book, it did not feel as though I was wading through reams of useless information only to be overloaded with activities that were a waste of my time. Instead, Becoming Verbal was full of good examples and play activities and helped me clear up some of my practises with my daughter.