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My Life on Fire

Book Synopsis

A tense, page-turning story that sensitively deals with themes of family upheaval and kleptomania, by the bestselling author of Ella on the Outside.

Ren’s family lose their home in a fire. They’re living with her grandmother now and things are a bit tense.

Ren lost her collection of things, her clothes; her brother lost his little bear and is inconsolable. So Ren starts replacing things with other people’s possessions. They’ve got loads of stuff, after all.

But she gets caught and has to strike a terrifying deal to avoid detection…

Our Review Panel says...

A captivating and thought-provoking dual narrative from the author of Ella on the Outside.

As Ren and her family drove home one evening they could see orange flames dancing in the sky and bursting like fireworks and flashing fire engines – this excitement soon turns to terror and misery when they realise it is their home on fire. Their lives change instantly when they have to rebuild their lives and home due to the devastating fire. Ren, her parents and little brother Petie have to move in with their strict Gran, who starts to take care of them more due to her parents being busy sorting out the house, business and money troubles.

Renn feels empty and lost with nothing left and soon finds a way to help herself feel better – by taking small items that are meaningful to her old life or other people. Whilst doing this, she feels better but simultaneously she feels wracked with guilt. Meanwhile, Caspar is chatty, inquisitive and really helpful. When things start to go missing in school, he is on a mission to find the culprit. What will happen when he finds out it is his new friend?

The story is told through two perspectives: Ren and Caspar. They are two completely different characters with very different lives, but in the end become true allies and a real help to each other. The narrative was easy to read and having the two perspectives in two different fonts made it easy to decipher which character was telling their version of events. As the story progresses, the pace quickens and I was desperate to read on to find out what was going to happen to Ren and Caspar. The ending was satisfying and wholesome.

The story focuses on complex moral choices and what to do when your friend is in trouble even though it could cause trouble for yourself. The story would make a great class read for Year 6 with links to PSHE, empathy work or class discussions.

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My Life on Fire

my life on fire

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