‘Swimming to the Moon’ is the first book that I’ve read by Jane Elson, which is good news for me because after falling in love with her writing I now have two more books waiting for me to devour. Jane’s books have come very highly recommended to me by me Year 5 and 6 children who chose ‘How To Fly With Broken Wings’ as their favourite book in this year’s Peters Book of the Year Awards. I read ‘Swimming to the Moon’ in one sitting it was wonderful, joyful, marvellous there are just not enough words to explain how much I loved reading this fantastic book. However I will try my very best to tell you why!
Bee or Beatrix Daffodil Tulip Chrysanthemum Rose Edwards as she’s officially known – named after the cheap bunch of petrol station flowers her Dad brought to hospital after he missed her being born – is finding life a struggle. Her beloved great -gran has died, her parents are constantly rowing and being different from the other children is making things increasingly difficult, in fact nothing seems to go right for Bee. Unknown to her family she is also being tormented by the super popular Chrystal Kelly, once her best friend and now her sworn enemy. Things take a turn for the worse when Chrystal double-dares her to enter a sponsored swim despite knowing she can’t swim and is terrified of water, but despite this she feels compelled to accept. But fate lends her a hand when the new boy Moon-Star comes to the rescue and they form a friendship bound by a promise to help each other, not realising that it will change their lives forever.
Jane Elson has crafted a truly special story about overcoming fears, dealing with grief and the power of friendship. A wonderfully empathetic and moving read it explores the realities of life for both Bee and Moon-Star who are each facing their own challenges and struggling with acceptance. It feels so honest and real you find yourself totally wrapped up in the characters and completely enthralled in this story. I ran a whole gauntlet of emotions reading this story it made me laugh, cry and filled me with joy. It totally surprised me I wasn’t expecting to have such an emotional reaction, it is a definite must have read.