Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Children’s Books: Torn Pages by Sally Grindley

Lydia and her younger siblings, Joe and Kesi, are African AIDS orphans, trying to survive alone. Lydia has had to leave school to support her brother and sister. Most of the villagers are suspicious of them. Their own grandmother, who is well-off, not only won’t take them in but is actively undermining them. She firmly believes her son married beneath him and that it was his wife’s fault he died of AIDS, even though it was the other way around.

The only comfort Lydia has is their mother’s “memory book,” written especially for her as the mother was dying. But her grandmother has plans that might take away even this comfort.

Torn Pages (Bloomsbury) is a touching story that looks at a real problem in the world and brings them down to a human dimension. The children in the story are sympathetic characters you can care about and they don’t simply accept their troubles. At the end, there is hope for the future.

Suitable for children in late primary school to early secondary.

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