Recommended reads for Summer, July 2022

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The Good Turn, Sharna Jackson

Josie Williams likes to get things done; she wants to make a difference.

When she hears about Josephine Holloway, who started the first Girl Scout troop for black girls in America, she forms the Copsey crew with her best friends Margot and Wesley and sets out to do good. When they decide to try and earn their camping badge in the local woods, they stumble upon a mystery. They can see lights in the run-down car factory at the edge of town. Desperate to investigate, Josie kickstarts a chain of events that will force them to be the best they can be as they struggle to help an old homeless couple who turn out to be victims of the Windrush Scandal.

A book about children doing the right thing. 9+

While the Storm Rages, Phil Earle

It's 1939 and London is at war. Fathers are off to fight, children are being evacuated and amid all this turmoil, the latest government missive is advising that beloved pets be put down, to lessen the load.

This sits heavily with the impetuous, young Noah whose dog, Winn, is his world. His best friend Clem feels the same way about her aged daschund, Frank. Unable to carry through with the order, they run away to seek refuge for their pets in the estate of an eccentric old lady who they hear has a fondness for animals; only problem is they have to get to her.

So begins a journey on Noah's rusty boat. They'll be joined by a donkey, some cats, oh, and a snake owned by the local bully (with a sad backstory). Sounds comical this makeshift ark, and there is humour to lighten the setting, but there's also lashings of empathy and an incredible awareness of the lengths that children will go to do what they believe is right.

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When the World Was Ours, Liz Kessler

Three friends bear witness to the emergence of the Nazi state and the division and fear that results under the new regime. The story is alternately narrated by Leo and Elsa, who are both Jewish, and Max, whose severe, uncompromising father will rise up the ranks of the SS. It is the story of their separation from each other and the lives they once inhabited - all three forever changed by moves to England, Czechoslovakia and within Germany. Simply told, hugely effective, sincere and profound. An important read in these times. 12+