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- author Jackie French

Friday 17 May 2024

Review: Grace the Amazing

Eleven-year-old Grace is on the cusp of adolescence. She sees herself as many things. All of them negative.

She hates school, is friendless, mocked by her classmates because she wants to be a magician, and doesn’t get along with her seven-year-old brother.

Unhappy and angry all the time, Grace is unable to see in herself, all that she is capable of with her artistic gift, nurtured by her art teacher Pamela.

Mum Coco works at the Zoo, and on weekends has her own animal show, Party Pets, with which Grace helps out.

Dad is away a lot for work, and alone, Coco is at wits end with her daughter’s inexplicable attitude.

This pushes her to seek help for Grace from a Child Psychologist.

Initially, this does not go well.

Grace is faced with many personal challenges. When told that she is losing Pamela due to cancer, her world crashes down around her.

In her worst moment, she meets Fromelles, a boy as interesting as his name, and as lonely as her. He has been given into temporary foster care by his mum and is struggling to adjust.

A comfortable friendship slowly grows between the two children. They each have someone to share things that they can’t share with others.

But for Grace, drastic change must take place.

Will Grace accept all that's needed for her to become the amazing person she wants to be?

Can she learn to love herself, and express love to those she cares for?

Aleesah Darlison has created a powerful, realistic, and insightful representation of life situations children struggle to understand, at an age when friendships define who they are.

In the frank narrative voice of her leading character, Darlison has produced a beautiful, well-rounded portrait of a troubled child; how she thinks, what she worries about, and the insecurities that at times plague her, with resolutions.

It comes with a perfect ending.

Title: Grace the Amazing
Author: Aleesah Darlison
Publisher: Wombat Books, $14.99
Publication Date: 1 May 2024
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761111174
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction