Books by Sally Grindley< Back to Books
- Date Published: 2009
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
‘Few could read this book and not be struck by the iniquity of a world in which the disease’s effects [the effects of AIDS] are so different between regions.’… ‘An “issues” novel without moralising or didacticism.’ Financial Times
‘The story flows beautifully, the first-person narrative ensuring the reader’s emotional involvement with Lydia, who reveals herself as a fully rounded character, responsible and vulnerable, steadfast and childish, but whose ability to look beyond reality eventually wins through . . . Excerpts from the memory book punctuate the narrative, a confirmation of the power of words in determining and shaping reality. Though tragic, the story is about strength of character and the will to succeed rather than ravaged lives.’ Books for Keeps
‘Grindley’s vivid portrayal of Lydia’s hardships and the bonds that keep her family together offers a thought-provoking experience to older readers who want to open their eyes to a wider world.’ The Observer
‘A poignant, powerful and emotive story of a small family’s love, loss and resourcefulness in the face of adversity. Acclaimed and prize-winning author Sally Grindley cleverly portrays the story of AIDS seen through the eyes of a young girl.’ Lovereading4kids
‘A lovely, down-to-earth story about a family of AIDS orphans in Africa. It’s moving and enlightening, but comes with the trademark Grindley common sense. There’s no one better at educating without frightening, and telling a good story to boot.’ The Book Bag
The AIDS epidemic is devastating many parts of Africa and leaving children to struggle on their own. Here I tell the story of the hardships a family of three children face when they are orphaned and have nobody else to turn to for help. Lydia is the eldest and is determined to look after her brother and sister, despite the evil machinations of her grandmother and sidekick. She draws strength from the memory book her mother has left her.Talking Points
1) The importance of school and learning, particularly for children from poor families.
2) The challenges of being an orphan.
3) The role of the extended family where orphans are concerned.
4) Village life in southern Africa.
5) On becoming self-sufficient.
6) Sibling responsibility and mutual support.
7) The role of the memory book.
8) The resilience of children whose lives have been torn apart.
1) Lydia – role as a substitute mother and struggle to keep her family together.
2) Grandma Motsie – conniving and uncaring, why?
3) Lydia’s mother – absent but ever present.
4) Joe – a mature head on very young shoulders.
5) Jabu – bad, but how bad?close
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