Author – David Hill
Age – 9+
Conrad is on his way to swimming training early one morning before school, when an old man stumbles out of the trees in the park and starts yelling at him. Surprised and scared, Conrad runs to the pools but doesn’t tell anyone – not even his best mate Jaz.
A new girl has started in his class at school. Bex is fiery, skinny and keeps to herself. One day on the way home, walking around the town race track (horse racing), he sees this girl riding and then again outside a house – talking to the old guy who shouted at him in the park.
It doesn’t come easy, but a friendship develops and Conrad learns about Bex’s grandfather – a sufferer of early Alzheimer Disease. But he’s also suffering from something else – a secret and a guilt from many years before.
Stories at this reading level about alzheimers are rare. I really liked this story and it’s characters – especially Bex’s grandfather.
(Alzheimers, Swimming, Elderly, Friends, Horses, Drowning, NZ Fiction, Guilt)