Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Fig Swims the World by Lou Abercrombie


When your whole word goes on lockdown and you can't venture out to see the places you've always dreamed of, this is the ideal book to read. Isn't it funny, how you always want the things you can no longer have. As soon as we went into isolation, I felt the urge to get out and travel, yet knowing I couldn't I got to travel around the world with Fig as she swam in nineteen different races over six continents. 
Fig is only fifteen when she decides this will be her News Year's Resolution. Her mother, Mubla, usually makes her resolutions for her, so this year, Fig takes control and makes her own. There is one tiny problem with this resolution - Fig can't swim. So on top of actually escaping from home without her parent's consent, using her mum's credit card to pay for the trip,  she has to overcome her fear of water and learn how to swim. 
Sometimes I did feel that Fig sounded a lot younger than her fifteen years, but as I work with teenagers, you often find one or two that have no older siblings and a very protective parent who shields them from growing up, so she is realistic in those terms. I loved watching Fig's transformation from an obedient child to a  confident, young woman. Whether a fifteen year old would actually be able to get away with every Fig did, I'm not so sure, but this is fiction and that allows you to suspend belief. 
I loved all the new friendships Fig discovered on her journey around the world. From Sage, the elderly twin who was more of a mother to her than her own, to The Boss, who she thought hated her, but really was always trying to make her a better person. 
This book reads like a personal journal as you follow Fig on her journey, while overcoming every one of her fears and learning to deal with bullying and anxiety. I loved all the different lists and text messages interspersed between each swimming event. This book is a complete delight from start to finish. It shows that with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you want in life - even survive lockdown. 

1 comment:

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