My Life As An Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg
As Candice Phee approaches her thirteenth birthday, foremost in her mind is the sadness of everyone around her – from her best friend Douglas, who’s convinced he’s fallen into the wrong dimension, to her neglectful parents who’ve been wrapped up in grief for years. Candice is determined to fix things but her very literal take on life makes for various complications.
This is a sophisticated novel in a similar vein to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon) or Wonder (R.J. Palacio). It completely won me over, just as unusual misfit Candice wins over everyone she meets, even if she has to do it the hard way.
An uplifting book, funny, charming and sometimes brutally honest, about a girl who accepts herself for the way she is and is waiting for everyone else to do the same.
For ages 10 and up.
Emily Gale is a Children’s & YA Specialist at Readings Carlton, and a Children’s & YA writer the rest of the time. Her other title is ‘Mum’, or more accurately ‘Muuuuuuuuum!’