Wednesday 30 April 2014

Little Celeste By Dawn McNiff

I was only out of my room for two minutes, I swear it. But when I got back, there she was.
A baby,
Lying there on my duvet, crying her head off.
A real true-life baby. Come from nowhere.
I stood there, staring at her, with my brain jammed. Shaking my head. Opening and closing my eyes.
Oh my GOD! Where had she popped up from?
Was she a ghost?
Pages – 207
Published by Hot Key Books April 2014
Everything in eleven-year-old Shelley’s life is spinning out of control. Her mum has gone to pieces after her ghastly boyfriend Scott (aka The Toadstool) has left her, and as if Shelley doesn’t have enough to cope with looking after her mum, a baby suddenly arrives on her bed. Who is she? Where’s she come from? And why can no-one else see her?
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dale
Shelley is a feisty protagonist. Faced with problems that might floor others, Shelley just keeps picking herself up and getting on with it. Instead of seeing the baby as a burden, finally Shelley has someone she can love, who seems to love her back, and loves giving the care and comfort to the baby she needs so much herself. Dawn McNiff skilfully draws the reader into the life and worries of Shelley who has to deal with the local bully as well as the practicalities of a baby who is only too real in terms of needing feeding and nappy changing, even if no one else can see her.  This is a book is quite a short, easy read that deals with standing up to bullies as well as neglectful mums.  Possibly the issues are resolved slightly too easily, but the message is an important one for girls today – don’t put up people who behave badly towards you.  

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