Today’s blog post is by Rachel Meier, a Waterstones bookseller who got in touch to tell us how much she’d enjoyed Little Bits of Sky, the debut novel by S.E. Durrant.
Hi everyone, I’m Rachel. I’ve been a children’s bookseller at the Canterbury St Margaret’s Street branch of Waterstones for about two years, and I absolutely love my job! I get to spend most days surrounded by books and people who love books (customers and colleagues alike) – I really couldn’t think of anything better.
The best part of my job is when a parent or child asks me for personal recommendations, and when they come back to me with feedback about my suggestions. I spend a lot of my free time reading children’s and young adult books to try and expand my knowledge of the section. Some of the best books I’ve read recently include The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (a beautiful, mythological adventure); Pax by Sara Pennypacker (a powerful story of a fox and his boy); and The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (a teen novel about growing up in Alaska in the 1970s).
The other best bit of my job is when I receive books from publishers, so I get a chance to read them in advance. One that I got in the post recently was Little Bits of Sky by S. E. Durrant, and it has quickly become another favourite! What made this one even more special is that it came with a handwritten note from Nosy Crow, telling me to enjoy the book and to let them know what I thought – it really put a smile on my face!
Little Bits of Sky is such a beautiful-looking book – I was immediately drawn to the cover and the way it unfolds to reveal a hidden picture underneath. It tells the story of Ira and Zac, two ‘care kids’ who have spent their whole lives moving from one foster home to another. When they are sent to live at Skilly House, a care home in London, their lives are forever changed… The illustrations throughout the book are gorgeous, and as Ira is a budding artist it really ties into her character. She seems so absolutely real, in the way she narrates their story, and in her relationship with her younger brother, who she always feels responsible for. It is a moving tale and deals with some important topics, but it never feels too overwhelmingly sad. The whole book is very sensitively written and ultimately heartwarming – it definitely had me close to tears by the end!
I can’t stop running up to any customer who even glances at it to tell them that it’s amazing, and to take a look at the inside cover to see the hidden artwork. It is such a special book, one that I think grown-ups will enjoy just as much as children, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to pass it on to my customers!
Thank you, Rachel! If you’re new to Little Bits of Sky, you can take a look inside the book below – and you can buy it online from Waterstones here.
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