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Annabel , Arts Award Carnegie and Greenaway Shadowing Group

The Stars at Oktober Bend

This is a beautiful, moving and powerful YA novel - I absolutely loved it! While the writing style takes some time to get used to (a lack of capitalisation, and lots of poetry) you quickly realise that this is part of the magic of the book.

The story centres around Alice Nightingale, a teenage girl who had undergone a horrendous tragedy a few years prior to the book. As the story unfolds you learn more about what happened to her, and the damaging aftermath of this on her whole family. Left brain damaged, Alice is stuck 'forever twelve' and struggles to understand or accept her new life. She escapes through poetry, as while she may struggle to speak, she can write and express herself through words in this way. It is through a left poem that Manny, a refugee from the war in Somalia, crosses her path. A strong friendship grows between them, as they accept each other for who they are, and together they start to overcome the horrors of their past.

At it's heart this is a story about family, friendship and acceptance, and how you can find peace in the most unlikely of places and people. I recommend this book to anyone - it will open your eyes to a new perspective on the world, and is such a beautifully written book that it is just a joy to read!

Posted on: 11th May 2017 at 10:35 am

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