“A child comes home from school. The mother, a single parent, has vanished. From this dark, but all-too-credible opening, Aila Juvonen creates a compelling narrative, with a large cast of, characters, especially, children. A notable feature of the story is how, instead describing a downward spiral of despair, it moves towards hope and empowerment. All the children in the story are on a spectrum of potential disadvantage, vulnerable to mockery and bullying. Yet they are hugely resourceful: they band together, using their individual gifts, which are presented with warmth and humour.
On one level, the book is an adventure story for younger readers – a page-turner with a touch of magic, and with a positive ending. But the book has lyrical interludes, pointing to both tragedy and recovery. These can be read for their own insights, and will appeal to readers of different ages and life-experiences.”