WINNER OF THE CBCA 2021 BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR YOUNGER READERS
I can't let go of them—the good, right things—because if I do I'll turn into a cloud and I'll float away,and a storm will come and blow me to nothing.
Eleven-year-old Aster attends a school for gifted kids, but she doesn't think she's special at all. If she was, her mother wouldn't have left.
Each day Aster must do a good, right thing—a challenge she sets herself, to make someone else's life better. Nobody can know about her things, because then they won't count. And if she doesn't do them, she's sure everything will go wrong.
Then she meets Xavier. He has his own kind of special missions to make life better. When they do these missions together,
Aster feels free, but if she stops doing her good, right things will everything fall apart?
I ate this book like a nutella sandwich made with just-baked, still-warm fluffy white bread, it was so good. And I'm going to press it into the hands of all the magical 11-year-old girls in my life because of the writing but also because we don't have enough decent, empathetic, overwhelmed, neurodivergent kids in our literature for children that help us to see the world in a different way from the usual way the world is rammed down our throats: as if we are all the same and want the same things.
- REBECCA LIM, author of Tiger Daughter
I predict oodles of great things for this middle-grade book which has the potential to change how we view living with anxiety. Highly recommended. An absolute must-read for anyone, old or young, who wants to better understand mental health challenges.
- NADIA KING, author of The Lost Smile
Written with great insight and delight, Aster's voice is pitch perfect and the reader is treated to a view of the world seen through her eyes.
- CBCA Judges' comments
This emotive and person-centred novel has many layers. It addresses family breakups and its effect on children, the magic influence of friendship, that being different shouldn't be a stigma, and the life-saving value of books.
- KIDS' BOOK REVIEW