Ele Fountain, London: Pushkin Children’s, pb 978 1 7826 9255 3, 2020, £7.99, 256pp.
Fiction, 8+ years
Written in the first person through the voice of Lola, this is a story of transience that was never meant to be.
Lola and her brother Amit wait for their father to return home after a days work. But when he fails to arrive, and days pass, their landlord becomes increasingly frustrated by them, and they are forced to move out. They become part of another family, setting up home in a local railway station. But worse is to follow. When Amit goes missing Lola sets out to find her little brother, calling on the help of her new friends and in particular Rafi, all living without their parents, all who have stories to tell. Lola is introduced to the hazards of the city and the issues that come with their increasing vulnerability. However, Ele fountain nurtures the reader through these dangers and continues to explore the city through Lola’s eyes. Ultimately, we travel through Lola’s journey on her shoulder, and see how perseverance can reap rewards. Yet even in the most beautiful of moments we are left in an open-ended situation, where someone or something is missing. Even though many loose ends are tied up and Lola and her little brother come to understand the story of their family, a new friend is still out there, and someone needs to look out for them.
This is a beautifully told story of unfortunate circumstances, yet new beginnings, beautifully created, told and concluded by Ele Fountain. The road on which she takes the reader introduces them to facets of life they might hear about but do not necessarily experience. Fountain does this in a kind and gentle way that only reinforces the issues she discusses.
This is a fabulous book for pre-teenage/teenage readers set in a very real world and with a realistic situation that any one of us could find ourselves in! Brilliant, I was in tears!
Review by Karenanne Knight