The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Walker Books
Angie and Harry live next-door to each other and are such good friends, they consider themselves almost-twins. They have big plans for the summer ahead, particularly with families constructing them their dream treehouse.
As Angie tells their story in energetic diary format, her affection for her friend turns swiftly to frustration and anger as he misses some of their planned get-togethers due to apparent headaches. As the book progresses, the reader comes to realise (as eventually does Angie) that Harry’s illness is something more serious than just an occasional headache.
This is a touching story, accessibly delivered. A smaller subplot accompanies the central story, in the form of letters from the past, read at intervals to the children by Angie’s grandma who documented her wartime childhood in Japanese-occupied Singapore. Her story is fascinating, harrowing and based largely on fact.
Two stories unfold in parallel (both told with childlike innocence, a lightness of touch and gentle humour) as two girls each cope with their challenges and grief.