Another reviewer has joined the ranks of our Kids Book Crew and today we welcome Ruth McInerney. For her first review, Ruth has tackled an old favourite and a book she regularly recommends for 9-12 year olds, the Whitbread Children’s Book Award winner Saffy’s Angels.
Saffy’s Angel is the first book in a hilarious and heart-warming series by Hilary McKay following the four Casson children, Cadmium (Caddy), Saffron, Indigo and Rose. With two artists as parents it’s no surprise that all their names have come from the paint chart that hangs in the kitchen; or at least nearly all their names.
When Saffy finally learns how to read the chart she realises her name is missing. Which is how she learns that her brother and sisters are actually her cousins and her mother died in Italy when she was a little baby.
This knowledge means that Saffy grows up feeling like an outsider in her own home, despite the best efforts of her cousins and her aunt Eve.
When the children’s Granddad, who brought Saffy home from Italy, dies and leaves behind a mysterious note in his will, ‘For Saffron. Her angel in the garden’ Saffy jumps on this link to her mother and her life in Italy. With the help of a new friend and a daring plan Saffy makes her way to Siena in search of a missing piece in her life.
Meanwhile Caddy, Rose and Indigo try to help from home, whilst also dealing with pregnant guinea pigs, dashing driving instructors, a terrible fear of heights.
The Casson family is chaotic, creative, silly and just generally all over the place! But they love each other fiercely and will do anything to help each other. Whether it’s climbing out windowsills, organising stowaways or driving to Wales there’s no limit to their bravery.
This book feels like a warm hug, maybe a little sticky because someone has jam on their front, but a squishy comforting hug anyway! Suitable for 9+ and anyone who loves a story that makes you smile and laugh, as well as feel brave enough to do anything!
Kids Book Crew verdict
If you like this book you might also like: The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.
Will appeal to readers who enjoy: Arts and crafts, spontaneous adventures and things just a little out of the ordinary.