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Book Review: Blue Moon Day

 

A fascinating collection of short stories artfully weaved into the life of young protagonist Sam, the daughter of a working mum and a soldier away from home.

Once in a blue moon, Sam doesn’t feel like going to school and likes to take a day off to stay at home away from the frustrations of her daily routine. One such day, we join her on a gripping journey as she unexpectedly becomes absorbed by a book which will prove to be more enlightening than she had ever imagined. Indeed, through this collection of curiosity-conjuring stories, Fine offers the young reader a refreshing insight not often found in children’s literature, insisting them to consider Sam’s discoveries and share in her emotions as she contemplates life without sight, friends or family. What’s more, Fine opens an often-closed door into the trials and tribulations that life away from the shelter of home can bring, painting the rapt reader an intensely thought-provoking picture, very different to that depicted in the traditional, well-loved Blyton novels still adoringly read by so many young people today.

Through Sam’s eyes, we experience these short stories with compassion and captivation, in truth often finding ourselves wishing for a bigger glimpse into the character’s future or some further resolution at the end of each one. Fine invites the young reader to reflect upon a train of emotions as she carves an intriguing maze dotted with happiness, fear, shame and doubt. From Eclipse of the Sun in which we meet George, the boy who has been blind from birth and who is forced to swap the familiarity of his ‘partials’ and ‘totals’ for the challenging frustrations of a mainstream education; to Dream Cell in which we mingle warmly amongst a group of young offenders pushing boundaries and decorating their lives with dreams. Furthermore, upon turning the last page of the book, we are faced with a whirlwind of contemplations about our own lives, beliefs and experiences. A truly enthralling book which sheds both light and shadows over bullying, loneliness, aspirations and faith, Blue Moon Day will draw you in and promises to be extremely difficult to put down. A compelling read.

Written by Kathryn Waite


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