The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Margot and Me
Publisher: Hot Key
It's the 1990s and teenager Fliss is moving to a remote area of Wales with her mum, who's recovering from cancer. It's bad enough that she's moving away from the school she likes and all her friends, but even worse, they're going to live with Margot, her once-shoulder-padded boss-lady grandmother who Fliss hates. Not only that, she has to go to school with Megan and her gang, who decide they hate her on sight.
However, when Fliss finds Margot's teen diary, written in World War Two, she starts to understand her no-nonsense grandmother more, uncovering a terrible secret along the way.
A perfectly written family drama for teens, Margot and Me explores the developing relationship between a grandmother who is more board room than Battenberg, and her granddaughter, who is just starting to understand that life, and love, is rarely straightforward.
Dawson's Margot is prickly, brave and complex, and Fliss's journey of discovery about herself and her family is at once sensitive and witty. There is a romance with the hulking Welsh geek-hero Dewi in the background, but it's Fliss and Margot's relationship that really shines through.