Every Shiny Thing

Publisher: Abrams

Review

Lauren is struggling with her parents’ decision to send her older brother (who is on the autistic spectrum) to a new residential school. Meanwhile, Sierra has just moved into the street, to live with foster parents. The two girls are very different but quickly become firm friends.

In a well-intentioned attempt to channel her strongly held views about social injustice, Lauren concocts a plan to raise money for families who cannot afford therapeutic support for their autistic children. However, Lauren’s "Robin Hood" style approach to her fundraising puts their friendship under pressure and sees loyalties challenged.

With alternating narratives (Sierra’s in verse, Lauren’s in prose), the girls’ very different voices are both engaging and powerful. Alcohol addiction, non-traditional families, bereavement and social inequality are just some of the themes in this unusual coming-of-age story about trying to find the right way to help others and make a difference in the world.

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