Author – Sally Nicholls
Age – 12+
This heart breaking story is told in the viewpoint of 11 yr old Olivia. Each chapter is focussed on a period in her short life, or people that have fostered her. The reader discovers along the way why Olivia has had 16 foster homes, primarily because of her own shocking, rebellious, destructive behaviour. But these behaviours are all safety mechanisms she has built in defence of the hurt and betrayal she has experienced along the way.
This stems from living with her real mother who was like living with a time-bomb, slowly ticking and anger building until she lashed out at her eldest daughter Olivia. Olivia would pester and annoy and get angry herself until her mother did the hitting and yelling and got it over and done with.
I thought the ghost sub plot to this story wasn’t very strong. But the writing from Olivia’s point of view, and how she expressed her anguish and anger through the separate chapters about different parts of her 11 years of life was excellent. So sad, but an amazing insight into the mind of a neglected child.
(Foster care, Ghost, Mystery, Blended Family, Bullying, Child Abuse, Conflict, Courage, Love)