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October, October: WINNER OF THE YOTO CARNEGIE MEDAL 2022

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October, October is a book about being wild, about family and friendship, about the forest and the stars, about campfires and the hooting of a very special owl. The perfect Autumn read - you can almost smell the damp leaves, crisp air and smoke from a distant bonfire .

She is also the author of children’s book The Space We’re In, which is also published by Bloomsbury. Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.This book explores mature themes in an implicit way that is integrated beautifully and appropriately into the story. But overall, I cared for October so much that I wanted that happy ending for her, and didn't care too much how she got it. Orla thought she was in for a relaxing family holiday, but when she finds a mysterious glowing necklace in the woods, it turns out there is a slight possibility she may have uncovered an ancient curse. Balen does juxtapose the wildness with urban life here – a familiar juxtaposition and tension throughout literary history back to King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Bacchae – and also October’s relationships with her father (intimate, intense and loving) and her mother (absent and cold). The school environment, which was difficult and different but full of wonderful characters like Yusuf and Daisy.

Fourteen-year-old Opal's family falls on hard times when her accountant father foolishly forges a cheque to support his family. However on October's eleventh birthday, everything changes in October, October, as when October's father falls out of a tree and is rushed to hospital, October is pulled from her treasured and beloved woods, from the only home she has ever known and is placed into her mother's care in London, where trapped in a tiny house in a busy and frenetic metropolis and with a woman that October has not seen in years, has no interest in meeting and getting to know, October struggles to understand this new world, often lashing out, often reacting with anger and frustration, but also slowly learning to adjust and to even finally be able to a least somewhat appreciate both her mother and that there might indeed be some positives after all outside of the woods. The settings are sumptuous, the beautiful autumn forest, the cold mud flats of the Thames - the world here is fully realised and a joy to delve into.Balen's writing is experimental and the voice she has created for October feels very much real despite the whimsical feel of her writing.

possibly the best father/daughter relationship i've ever read, a very relatable and painful portrayal of anxiety, guilt and abandonment and the heart-full feeling of loving someone and something you protect. The illustrations by Angela Harding are beautiful and detailed and add a wonderful addition to the book. Thank you to Bloomsbury and LoveReading 4 Kids, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. Life outside the woods is something October has never had to experience but can she adapt when she has to?After living ‘in the wild’ with her father she is then transported to a life in the city with her mother.

October is a young girl thriving in her alternative off-the-grid lifestyle when she’s suddenly plunged into one of the biggest cities in the world and is forced to grapple with the fast-paced and metronomic nature of urban life – as well her own hostility towards her mother, who she holds responsible for this unwelcome change.

Yourself and Bob are much cherished in our booky world and I personally really appreciate everything that you do. It was such a pleasure to meet you both, and I really appreciated how smoothly and professionally you ran everything. When everything seems helpless it's time for October to spread her wings and learn what it truly means to be wild. October’s only memory of living with her mother is of her leaving where “there’s crying and I know that I let out a shriek so loud it pierced the sky and the birds scattered”.

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