Fun and daring make for an ideal combo – ‘To the Lighthouse’

ToTheLighthouseIt’s rare to read a book that looks at childhood and growing up with such clever balance. ‘To the Lighthouse’ by Cristy Burne does that, and all with a vivid sense of humour and love of adventure.

Take risks. Eat jelly snakes. Make new friends. Laugh. Lots.

I really enjoyed this junior fiction book. It was vivid and honest, exciting and funny, and I recommend it for all 7-10 year olds.

But I almost didn’t write it up. ‘Why, oh why?’ I hear you ask.

Because I know the author. Really well. And I didn’t want to be seen as false or having conflicting interests or whatever it could be.

But then I figured… it’s my blog! And it was such a fab book, I’d write it up anyway :). Ha!

Yeah? And what was so fab?

  • Diverse characters
  • Boy and girl friendship without any complications
  • Parents are around
  • Encourages risk-taking

This book ticks all the boxes without preaching about any of it. The characters feel real and the writing would appeal to boys or girls. Refreshingly, parents are around on both sides, and even Isaac’s overly-worried mother is depicted with empathy.

In fact, this book models empathy. So important.

Equally important in our helicopter-parenting days is the risk-taking that new friends Emmy and Isaac undertake. It’s depicted with such honesty and humour.

When Emmy yelled ‘Jump!’ he pushed himself over the edge of the jetty, into the air.

His brain was still on the jetty, debating whether or not to jump. It decided not to.

(p. 36)

It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s character-building. And when it all goes wrong (fear not! – not that wrong!), the decision Emmy and Isaac make is perfect without being sugary.

The verdict?

A book you can give to your kids with confidence, and the only behaviour it’s likely to encourage is an increased wish to be outside experiencing life. And a desire to go on holiday somewhere chilled out and awesome.

Have a read, and tell me what you think!

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