Publisher: David Fickling Books
A deceptively simple novel for older Key Stage 2 readers: easy to read but addressing serious and complex issues around bereavement, self-image, family relationships and loyalty.
Eleven-year-old Martha has increasingly taken over the household organisation since her mother died, looking after her small brother, and her father, whose behaviour has become erratic and depressive.
Gradually she realises that he has become an alcoholic, and she battles to keep the home together and cure her father, her loyalty preventing her from seeking overt outside help.
Despite the serious subject, Mason writes with simplicity and humour, thoroughly engaging his readers, and introducing some delightfully quirky characters. A tender, heart-rending novel which highlights the burden carried by children who are also family carers.