1 Minute Reviews · Middle Grade · YA

A Storm of Strawberries by Jo Cotterill | 1 Minute Reviews

This is an absolutely charming book.

Set on a strawberry farm over the course of one weekend, this novel follows twelve year old Darby as things start to (literally and metaphorically) fall apart in her life. A tornado is coming, and so is her sister Kaydee’s difficult friend Lissa. All Darby wants to do is the annual chocolate egg hunt.

9781848126169

Darby has Down’s Syndrome and its clear that Cottrill has done her research into life as someone with Down’s Syndrome, producing a point of view narrative that feels real – and very close to good autistic character voices, which makes me wonder if Darby is supposed to be dual diagnosis. Sorry autism distraction!

In a short novel and one small weekend, Cottrill manages to incorporate jealousy, secrets and truths, hidden romance, financial fears and a lot of shouting. I’m really impressed by this lovely little novel that affirms that disabled people have our own wants, desires, personalities without patronising the reader or getting it wildly wrong.

Not only that but this is a middle grade novel with a lesbian couple that also deals with coming out to parents and siblings – normally a narrative reserved for older readers books. All in all, I’m really impressed and will be seeking out more of Cottrill’s books.

This is a great novel to buy a child (I feel from age 9 upwards) especially if they want to understand people with Down’s Syndrome, learning disabilities and autism better, as well as being just a lovely, captivating story. Darby is a warm loving person who I loved reading about, and honestly I’d read a whole series about her.

Interested? Get it here.

What to read next:

Thank you kindly to the team at Bonnier Zaffre and Piccadilly Press for sharing this book with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s