The Book That Made Me: Jeremy Strong 13/07/20
Elfie: flamboyant, fast-talking, big-dreaming. Her Dad’s on strike, her Mum’s constantly disappearing, saddling her with baby brother Alfie, but Elfie’s convinced she can save the day by achieving celebrity through entering talent contest Pop to the Top.
Elfie’s awkward, shy, best friend, champion swimmer Jimmy, is coerced into Elfie’s scheme for stardom. So is Agnes, lonely, bullied, missing her Portuguese homeland. Her Dad’s a strike-breaker and Elfie should hate her – but Agnes sings like an angel…. Chutzpah combined with brazen lies gets them through to the finals. But, with tensions over the strike rising, can Elfie’s fabricated back-story hold?
Acute, engaging characterisation and a sensitive exploration of children and families struggling under economic pressure make this highly readable novel about reality TV far from trivial. An absorbing and inventive teen novel with a very engaging heroine.