'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Review: Little Bits of Sky



Ira and her younger brother Zac end up at the orphanage named Skilly House after several foster home trials. Their childhood experiences - the sadness and heartbreak, the kindness and joy, are related later in life by Ira, using the diaries she kept from the time the two entered Skilly.

Ira’s voice is unique. Her sharp powers of observation and use of smart and detailed language reflect her artistic abilities. This helps create a fluid and powerful narrative.

I enjoyed the insertion of the ghost of the unknown Glenda that visits Ira. Who is she and why is she at Skilly? This divergent theme left strings trailing and further whetted my interest.
I got to know each of the children intimately through Ira’s records: the daily routine, the kindness and apparent verbal cruelty of the staff and children, and the loneliness and longing each experienced as they waited to be added to a family; to own a sense of belonging.

The children all carry emotional baggage when they arrive. Loss has left them scarred. Shattered trust needs rebuilding. These issues are brilliantly portrayed by the children’s voices in dialogue added to their background stories.

This poignant novel’s recurring theme is the plight and ceaseless search of foster children for a place and a family to call their own.

Although a work of fiction, Little Bits of Sky reads like a biography. It’s up close and personal.

This is not a sad book, although the issues addressed are, and the lives of the children at times are pieces that need putting back together. It is a novel of hope and endurance; of dreams come true, and the endless possibilities even when everything seems pitch dark.

Title: Little Bits of Sky
Author: S. E. Durant
Illustrator: Katie Harnett
Publisher: Nosy Crow, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: 22 June 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780857633996
For ages: 9+
Type: Middle Fiction

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