SLA's Friday Favourites (23/07) :: NEWS
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SLA's Friday Favourites (23/07)

23 July 2021 Share

Reading recommendations we think you'll love.

Title: Girl (In Real Life)

Author: Tamsin Winter

Publisher: Usborne

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 8th June 2021

ISBN: 9781474978484

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Eva's parents are vloggers and started recording first their pregnancy, then the first milestones in Eva's life, like many parents. Unlike most parents, they posted theirs online on their public channels. This soon became their life and they became giddily obsessed with the number of their followers. But now Eva is a teenager she wants it to stop. However, not far from a magical number of followers, her parents are chasing their ambition.


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Beware what you share. In this case when the accounts were hacked, passwords were known to the hackers, but posting birth dates, pet names and other personal details is simply handing over control of the security of your accounts.

Eva knew there were videos online of her having tantrums, even as a teenager, but I was wishing she would have a full blown temper tantrum and tell her Mum exactly what she thought of this exposure. To me, it was obvious Eva was uncomfortable with the public profile and many adult celebrities have cracked under the strain. Her parents were so obsessed they were unable to see this.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

One of horror. I appreciate social media for its news and ability to connect and share useful tips with reassurance you are not the only one in any particular position. But as for sharing intimate moments in your own life, let alone your child's life when they have no control, I find shocking.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Hopefully the extreme measures Eva's parents take demonstrate to young people that this sharing is unacceptable because of the hurt it causes to those exposed to ridicule, and they will stop and think.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

This is a great book to show consent and boundaries.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Tamsin Winter is a multi-award-winning author who writes fresh, funny and heartfelt fiction for readers aged 10+. Tamsin grew up in a Northamptonshire village where she spent her childhood reading books and writing stories. She studied English literature and creative writing at university, and has worked as an English teacher for many years. Becoming a fast favourite author for young teens, Girl (in Real Life) is Tamsin's third novel.

Visit her website and follow her on Twitter.


Available here


Title: Felix Ever After

Author: Kacen Callender

Publisher: Faber

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 18th May 2021

ISBN: 9780571368013

Reviewer: Hannah Groves




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Set in New York, 17 year-old Felix - a Black, queer, transgender boy who worries that he’s one marginalisation too many away from ever finding happiness - is a budding artist hoping to prove his worth by gaining a scholarship to Brown University. Along with his best friend Ezra, he's spending the summer working on his portfolio at his school’s summer art programme. What transpires is a summer of love, pain, revenge and self-discovery as Felix wrestles with his identity - all whilst falling in love for the first time.


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

This book was a rollercoaster of emotions! It was heartbreaking to see Felix struggle to find his place in the world and the cruel discrimination he experiences along the way would make anyone's blood boil. Navigating this turbulent time in his teenage life of course comes with a great deal of stress and resentment, but there were certainly times where I felt frustrated with Felix for taking that frustration out on those around him. Particularly his dad who, despite not always getting everything right, clearly loves Felix and is trying to support him on his journey to living his most authentic life.

However, the cast of diverse characters was incredibly refreshing and it was heartwarming to see strong friendships that ultimately lift others up to flourish in the face of adversity. 


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

Especially towards the end, self-love pours out of the pages and it reminded me of the importance of always being yourself. There is so much joy and fulfilment to be found in loving who we are and all the things that make us special.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Felix Ever After provides an interesting, thoughtful and valuable exploration of important topics that need our attention, including gender identity, sexuality, discrimination, race, sexism and bullying. Callender honestly and openly explores the issues that many young people are experiencing, and I think there are plenty who will be educated, enlightened and comforted from its pages. It's a welcome celebration of those who dare to be different.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

I could see this book being used in a PSHE content, as well as being useful for more generally opening up conversations about gender identity, sexuality, relationships, privilege and discrimination. 


MEET THE AUTHOR

Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author of middle-grade, young-adult and adult novels. They enjoy playing RPG video games in their free time and currently reside in Philadelphia, PA.

Visit their website and follow them on Twitter.


Available here