Here I Am (Pauline Holdstock)
- The Stats: 256 Pages, published September 2019
- Who Should Read It: Teachers, anyone in need of a heartwarming yet raw look at the challenges of children’s responses to trauma
- My Rating (out of 5 ♥): ♥♥♥♥
- My Thoughts: I fully admit that what drew me into this book was the gorgeous cover, spotted on the ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island. When I started paging through the book, I was drawn by the playful dialogue of the endearing, brave, mischieveious, and improbable protagonist, Frankie, a nervous and presumably traumatized 6-year-old who seeks to reconcile his mother’s sudden death by sneaking aboard an English cruise ship bound for France. Naturally! Told from Frankie’s innocent yet all-seeing eyes, I found myself smiling at some of Frankie’s adventures (such as scoring buffet cheese and sleeping amongst the pool chair mats), as well as an ache in my heart for some of his more raw reflections (his panic attack tantrums, his heartbreaking lonliness and fear during the cruise ship’s turbulence, and the misunderstanding he frequently encounters with his teacher at school).
I read this book purely for pleasure and an escape; I was surprisingly and melodiously whisked away into the mind of a child. An endearing story and a good reminder to us all about how poignant, powerful, and significant the world is (for better and worse) for children.