If You Read This

Publisher: Pushkin

Brie’s 12th birthday doesn’t get off to a great start. Not only does Nana insist she puts on the pink frilly dress that makes her look like a 6-year-old, it seems she has also invited the whole neighbourhood to witness her humiliation.

But when Nana gives Brie a set of three letters from her Mama, who died three years earlier, she is overwhelmed by feelings of heartache and excitement.

Mama is sending her on a treasure hunt, like the ones she used to surprise her with when she was little, but this one will change her life and her family forever.

Set on the colourful, sun-soaked island of Jamaica, this beautiful, poignant story explores the complexity of an ordinary family and the aftermath of grief when a parent dies.

Despite the difficult subject matter, Brie’s hunt for her Mama’s secret is joyful and uplifting but with plenty of bumps in the road. The characters are spirited, wonderfully imperfect and so real that it’s easy to imagine jumping into the pages to meet them and join in with their lives.

Combining an intriguing quest and a great family drama, this is a sensitive, honest, engrossing, coming-of-age story.

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