Dallas’s life was turned upside down the day her mum was killed in a traffic accident. Now she lives with her brothers, step-sister and her mum’s partner Gemma in a too-small house filled with bickering and grief. As the end of primary school approaches, Dallas learns that the local library has run out of funding and will soon be closing. Dallas decides she cannot let another thing she loves be lost. Together with her friends Aiza and Ruby, and her freewheeling American aunt Jessi, she starts a campaign to save the library for everyone.
A beautifully told tale about family, grief and growing up.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this powerful contemporary middle grade story about families and grief and saving libraries. The three main kids it revolves around are just fantastic. They are mischievous and fun, but also dealing with their own nonsense. In many ways Dallas is pretty self absorbed, thought I totally get why, but I love her little moments with Ruby and Aiza when they actually talk about stuff. And I ADORE their fights with Libby. Brilliant.
Plus on top of talking about made families and local community and the importance of facilities for everyone, it has a bi mum and a great few scenes on periods starting.
Dallas’s foray into politics is genius too – she’s so far in over her head at times but I love how she makes it work. And how, even though she can’t figure out the public speaking at first, and she’s worried about how she looks, she does great by just being herself. She find her feet a little, but overall she doesn’t change just lets her instinct (and some luck!) guide her.
Plus there are some properly hilarious lines. My favourite is the one about twitter being for old people. Rude! 😉
Really good fun but brings a great message across at the same time. Definitely one to look out for.
As I am on the bookstagram tour for Lost for Words, I am lucky enough to have a guest post from Aoife Walsh on her favourite things about the book!
I like a lot of things about Lost For Words. I love the librarian who has tried to retire twice but is still recommending books to reluctant readers half an hour before her library is due to close down forever. I love the library. I love my hero, and even though they’re a bit useless and dysfunctional at times I also love her family. Bossy big brothers are a classic trope for a reason, and who doesn’t like a wild Texan auntie?
But then messy family stuff is more or less my authorial thing. Every book I’ve ever written, published and unpublished, has been knee deep in it. What I’ve never written before is a friendship which exists fully already at the start of the book and (spoiler alert) is still strong at the end. And that’s perhaps my *favourite* thing about this book.
Dallas and Aiza and Ruby have been friends for years, just them against the primary school world, and are now facing a move up to secondary where they’re going to be in different forms. That’s a really odd time for children, especially nowadays when in most schools Year 6 is all about SATs, and then suddenly those are over and you’ve got weeks and weeks of nothing left to go and the teachers try to fill it with outings and strange sports. Anyway, waiting for that move is tough on these girls.
They’re vulnerable children. And it’s hard anyway to be a child – you have to be lucky to have proper friends, especially if you’re contentious like Aiza, neglected like Ruby or bereft like Dallas. Dallas’ journey towards dealing with her mother’s death only progresses because her friends coax her through it, with curry and crisps and Lemonade. When she decides to go all out to save the local library because she associates it with her mum, only Aiza and Ruby (who don’t care for libraries much themselves at the outset) get behind her four-square and are right there with her when she makes her final stand.
Essentially these children hold each other up. And their scenes are easily the funniest (in my opinion). They mock each other mercilessly, especially Aiza, and they deflect emotion, and bicker away, and love each other very much.
Life is complicated. This friendship is not. It’s pure and complete and salvatory. And it carries them through to the ending, which by the way I really love.
Buy Lost for Words from Amazon UK.