Dandelion Clocks, by Rebecca Westcott

Eleven year old Olivia’s family is big on rules, especially her mother. Liv doesn’t feel like she’ll ever be allowed to grow up and do things like get her ears pierced… that is until everything changes. Suddenly her mum is teaching her important life lessons, like how to put on make up, and taking her to get her ears pieced. Liv should be thrilled, but she can’t help but feel that there is something her mother is not telling her.

Dandelion Clocks, by Rebecca Westcott is a book that you’ll want to read with a The Fault in Our Stars level of tissues (if you didn’t cry while reading TFIOS, then move onto the next paragraph because you are clearly lacking tear ducts). I don’t mind crying in books, and in fact, I feel like it is a good book when it has made tears fall, or I’ve laughed out loud (or both). Connecting emotionally with a book is the whole point of reading for many people, myself included.

The book is set up so you know what is going to happen (or at least have a fair good idea) from the first chapter because of the time jump, but Liv, the narrator does not. This ramps up the emotional level of the novel because you can feel it building up to that point the whole way through. Westcott has done a tremendous job of keeping this tension, without it overwhelming the entire book. Liv’s family is a fairly functional one, and the love between them all is touching.

Moving and beautifully written, honest but not harsh, I highly recommend Dandelion Clocks for 10-14 year olds. It is a book about family and living life, and about growing up while experiencing grief and loss.

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TITLE: Dandelion Clocks
AUTHOR(S): Rebecca Westcott
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
RRP: $17.99
ISBN: 9780141348995

JJ is a writer by night, & a Product Manager by day. She loves young adult and children’s fiction and is the co-founder of NZ Booklovers. She has a Masters in Creative Writing, and is an ex-English tutor. She lives in Auckland with her husband, daughter, and two chihuahuas.

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