Reviewed by JackieMarchant
There’s so much to like about the main character of this book, twelve year old Darby. She lives for the moment, she dishes out hugs as frequently as she recovers from upsets, she is kind, loving and forgiving. She loves dancing with her headphones on full-blast and she loves chocolate. She has a habit of wandering off to try and solve things, even though she knows this exasperates her parents. But the thing I love best about Darby is that she accepts everyone for who, and what, they are.
Still, it’s very hard for Darby when her big sister Kaydee has a girlfriend over for the weekend. Kaydee and Darby are close and this newcomer doesn’t like it when Darby barges into Kaydee’s bedroom whenever she feels like it. And, when it becomes obvious that Kaydee wants to spend time alone with her best friend, Darby finds that hard to bear.
Unfortunately, her parents’ strawberry farm is in crisis, due to a weekend of storms that threaten to cause damage enough to seriously impact their livelihood. This means that Mum and Dad are not so ready to sympathise and Darby’s big brother Olly isn’t much help either –he’s far more interested in the newcomer. All of this is very muddling and Darby has to do a lot of earphone-dancing to keep ahead of things.
Things come to a head when the high winds threaten to spoil Mum’s annual chocolate egg hunt. Especially as everyone seems cross with Darby and she can’t quite grasp why – giving away Kaydee’s secret was a complete accident and not really her fault. As for why Olly is cross, she has no idea.
If only she could tell her family to get a grip, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words to express what you want to say. Especially when you have Down’s syndrome.
This is a book with a real heart – as well as strawberries and chocolate. What’s not to like?
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