The Amazing Edie Eckhart
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Eleven-year-old Edie Eckhart and her best friend Oscar are excited to be starting secondary school together, so are devastated when they are put into different classes. Oscar soon makes new friends when he joins the football team, and even gets a girlfriend. Feeling dejected, Edie throws herself into the school play, where she lands herself a leading role, and begins to develop some very special relationships of her own.
Edie is a feisty, funny and very lovable protagonist. She has cerebral palsy, affecting her speech and meaning she sometimes falls over. While at primary school, Oscar was always on hand with his ‘Edie First Aid Box’ to supply a plaster or spare pair of tights, the book shows how Edie is now (albeit reluctantly at first) learning not to lean on him more than she needs to. While her impairment is an important aspect of the tale, it is not presented as an issue. Instead, it is just one aspect of her personality, which has helped her to develop determination, resilience and a wicked sense of humour.
The first in a series, this entertaining book sensitively explores the challenges and joys of growing up. The diary format will help readers to empathise with Edie, and black-and-white illustrations throughout bring the story to life. Rosie Jones’ down to earth and sensitive representation of Edie’s same-sex relationship is also a lovely and integral part of the story.