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SHELFIE OF THE MONTH

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson

Published by Kelpies, an imprint of Floris books, 2018.

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is moving and life-affirming and full of hope and friendship.

It's about Caylin and Reema, two girls (aged 11 and 12 respectively) who live on a pretty bleak housing estate in Glasgow. Drumhill has been home to Caylin all her life; Reema is a Syrian refugee and she and her family have only moved there recently. In alternating chapters, we hear the story from each girl's perspective. There is a third female voice too - that of Hurriyah the injured fox who is struggling to care for her young. Her story runs parallel to the girls' stories and is beautifully told in a series of poems.

To the outside world Caylin seems unlikeable: she's surly, a bully, and a shoplifter. However, these behaviours stem from a troubled home life which she keeps secret. Reema too is misunderstood by others: she speaks a different language and wears a hijab.

This is the story of an unlikely friendship forged amidst pain and hardship. The relationship has a shaky start. Both girls are brittle and cautious, each wary of the other. However, they are brought together by the injured fox and her cubs who they both try to protect. They share another interest too: running. Reema, nicknamed the the White Gazelle by her brother, is proud of her speed and stamina. Whereas Caylin's ability as a runner is mixed up with painful memories of her grandparents and it's a talent she tries to hide. As the story develops, the girls learn to support each other with their running.

Another of the book's strongest themes is the importance of family. With her brother missing in Syria and her father's health deteriorating, Reema's family unit seems broken. Yet it's their strong family bond that sustains them all.

I'm sure you'll love Reema and Caylin and their story. It's poweerful, relevant and gripping.

Suitable for children aged 10+     

Unplugged by Steve Antony

Published by Hodder Children's Books, 2018. 

Do you spend ages on your tablet? Are you always stuck in front of a screen? Blip, the robot in this story, spends all day plugged into her computer. She plays games, dances to music, and learns new things. 

However, one day there's a power cut and she's forced to play outside instead. Her world switches from black and white to full colour as she discovers how much more fun life is with friends.

Suitable for children aged 3+ 

Look out for these books in the library

If you like the sound of either of these books, they are available to borrow from our school library. After you've read them, Miss Caddick would love to hear what you thought. Your mini reviews could even feature on this page.

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