The Stories Grandma Forgot (and How I Found Them) by Nadine Aisha Jassat, reviewed by Leontine (13)

 Nyla was four when her dad died. Eight years later she and her grandmother go to the supermarket and her grandmother swears she saw her dad. But how could that be true when he’s dead?

“I loved the relationship and unbreakable bond between Nyla and her grandmother.”

Leontine (13)

Determined to fulfil a promise to her grandmother (not only her grandmother but also her best friend) Nyla sets on a journey to find her dad and hopefully find out a little more about herself, about who she is, along the way.

This enthralling book will get rooting for Nyla and itching to uncover the truth about her father. 

This book is a story full of self-discovery and good friendships. I really liked this book because it was in a format I hadn’t seen before, written in short lines like you would expect a poem to be (which I later found out to be called a verse novel). I also loved the relationship and unbreakable bond between Nyla and her grandmother.

I would recommend this book to mystery lovers, in the age range of 9-11 years old but older readers can also love this book just as much.

The Octopus, Dadu and Me by Lucy Ann Unwin, reviewed by Niamh (10)

The Octopus, Dadu and Me is the heart-warming debut book from Lucy Ann Unwin. 

Sashi is left completely heartbroken when her parents tell her she can no longer visit her beloved grandfather, Dadu, because of his dementia. Instead of visiting Dadu in the care home, her parents start taking her to the local aquarium to take her mind off things and that’s when she meets Ian… an octopus who longs to escape. 

I really like this book because it’s extremely unique and a great insight into octopuses and dementia.

Niamh (aged 10)

With the help of her friends, Darcie and Hassan, they come up with a plan to break Ian out of his aquarium prison. 

It has loads of fascinating octopus facts and fun cartoon illustrations throughout the book, drawn by Lucy Mulligan. Did you know that octopuses can squeeze through spaces smaller than their eyeball?!

My favourite parts of the book were Sashi’s special memories with her Dadu and about what it’s like to have someone so close to you who doesn’t even remember you because of dementia.

I really like this book because it’s extremely unique and a great insight into octopuses and dementia. I found out lots of facts about both in a fun and engaging way, at the same time that Sashi and her friends are trying to work out how to sneak an octopus out of the aquarium without anyone noticing!

I would recommend this book especially to anyone whose families have experienced dementia, as there are not many books that deal with this subject well or even at all. It’s also perfect for people who like adventurous stories. I look forward to more books from Lucy!

Perfect for fans of: Keep Dancing, Lizzy Chu by Maisie Chan, and Me and My Dad at the End of the Rainbow.

Toffee – Sarah Crossan

I am not who I say I am, 
and Marla isn’t who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget. 
She is a woman trying to remember. 

Allison has run away from home and with nowhere to live finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there – and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself -where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

A captivating read that portrays domestic abuse, loneliness, abusive parents and dementia with honesty and heart. Toffee is about finding your self and creating your own family. Sarah Crossan has done it again with beautiful, emotive language and tension that builds as Allison and Marla’s stories twine together. A story that will break your heart and then hold it together again.

You can get your copy from our online shop here.