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CANDYFLOSS by Jacqueline Wilson

CANDYFLOSS

By Jacqueline Wilson (Author) , Nick Sharratt (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59643-241-3
Publisher: Deborah Brodie/Roaring Brook

Flora (Floss) Barnes shuttles back and forth between Dad and Mum, Steve and half-brother Tiger. When her stepfather’s job requires moving to Australia for six months, Floss makes the agonizing decision to stay behind with her father who is in serious debt with his failing café business and on the verge of becoming homeless. Suddenly, Floss’s life changes dramatically with newfound worries and fears offset by everlasting hope her father will succeed and build a new life for them. Floss’s normal school and tween friendship conflicts are complicated by an adult lifestyle that is less than suitable for a suburban middle-class child. Added to her stress is the guilt Floss feels keeping Mum in the dark and her stoic resolve to stay with Dad for moral support. British author Wilson portrays heavy issues of poverty, bankruptcy, drunken/bawdy adult behavior, bullying and unconditional parental/child love through a determined protagonist and a group of believable secondary characters—though they’re somewhat melodramatic in their thoughts and actions. Chapters foreshadow with a one-page black-and-white set of graphic novel–style scenes. Will provoke readers’ questions and speculation on the open-ended conclusion, and mother/daughter discussion possibilities are encouraged with the appended reading guide. British idioms outlined in “Floss’s Glossary.” (Fiction. 10-14)