I love the sights, smells and sounds of spring, in particular the first flowers.

They remind me of the words of a new story as it finally makes its way onto paper.

During the winter months, the words have rested, been nurtured and had time to develop. Suddenly they are ready to make their way into the light. To begin with they are tentative but, with a little care, they start to develop and then flourish.

This spring I have enjoyed two great stories which have meant different things to me.


Depression, loss, coping

A Library of Lemons

Jo Cotterill spoke at the recent Federation of Children’s Book Groups in Reading.

Her book tells the story of Calypso, whose mum died a while ago and whose father can’t cope. He absorbs himself in writing about the ‘History of the Lemon’ and won’t talk about their loss. Calypso is left alone to fend for herself and it is only when she opens herself up to friendship with new girl, Mae, that she can move on. It’s a lovely tale of friendship and relationships and coping with change.






WW2 in HollandMonica Hesse’s story of survival in Holland during the Second World War had me on the edge of my seat. Secretly working on the black market, Hanneke is used to finding almost anything for her paying customers, but as the Nazis begin gathering up more Jews to send to camps, she is given her biggest challenge yet – to find a missing Jewish girl – The Girl in the Blue Coat. But that’s not Hanneke’s only challenge. She’s also dealing with the loss of her boyfriend, who was killed in the war and the fact that she can’t afford to be found out as she is the only earner in her family. It’s a story about danger, risk, love and grief.