A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe

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Recommended by Stephen Dilley @stephenjdilley

Author: Yaba Badoe

Form: Prose Fantasy/Adventure

Length: 320 Pages

Brief synopsis: A fantasy adventure novel by a Ghanaian-British author about a child who is washed ashore in a sea chest after a ship full of refugees is drowned. She is adopted by a circus troupe of anarchists living ‘off grid’ and, aged 14, discovers more about her own story and becomes involved in a plot to avenge the souls of her people who were drowned.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Probably most suited for Year 8 or 9.
The villains of the novel are people traffickers – there are no sexual descriptions but they are in one place referred to as “sex traffickers” and ther are various references to them “touching” young women and as well as “selling” people and “meddling with children”. The main characters do not experience this but the threat is nonetheless present.
It also touches briefly on drug addiction and a couple of the main characters (teenagers) smoke and drink in a couple of places.
Includes references to a traumatised character as “crazy” and “a bit psycho”.

Notable reasons for recommending this book: Relates to topical issues – treatment of refugees and people trafficking.
A very imaginative and compelling story.

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