October October by Katya Balen

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Recommended by Josie Colley

Form and Genre: Prose/children’s fiction

Length: 304 pages

Summary: October grows up in the forest with her father, away from society and truly connected to nature. On her birthday, when her mother visits, October runs away and causes her father to have a serious accident. While her father is in hospital, October has to live with her estranged mother and learn to live a society which is alien to her. This is a story about relationships, society, nature and identity.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Perfect for a Year 7 class reader. Contains themes of marriage breakdown and serious illness/injury of a parent. 

Notable reasons for recommending this book: Would lend itself to an eco-critical exploration as well as an exploration about our modern society. It feels reminiscent of Where the Crawdads Sing but for a younger reader. Would also fit in well with an exploration of ideas from the Romantic movement.

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