IT”S MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE!
When Azi’s grandfather leaves their small Mediterranean island, Azi waits every day for him to return. The arrival of a nesting turtle and a tall sandy dog convinces Azi that it must mean that Grandfather is on his way. As Azi digs deeper into the past, he begins to unravel hidden secrets and starts to find out just how alike he and his grandfather really are. And without him, Azi knows he will never feel complete…
UK Release: 2018 US Release: July 2, 2019
MY TAKE: Longing…Family…and a boy finding his place. This tender story told from Azi’s viewpoint portrays his helplessness at discovering the whereabouts of his beloved grandfather, who until two years ago had raised the boy.
Azi meets a stray dog and a girl visiting the island. They give his expectations a dash of hope at reconnecting with the only person who understands the sea like he does. His current caregiver has been no help in Azi’s quest. The man prefers to be called Uncle and you won’t be sure if he really is the boy’s uncle until late in the story.
The new friendships are what keeps Azi going through one disappointing lead after another. The story reveals all and will surprise many readers like it did myself.
Perfect as a read aloud, this gentle tale will be one you remember.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
- The setting and Azi’s love of the ocean had me wishing for a trip to see what he experienced.
- The inner stories of the sea provide the eyes to how special the relationship was between a boy and his granddad.
- Beth is Azi’s first real friend and together their winning personalities drive the tale home.
- Nature is portrayed in all its beauty and often temporary status.
- The eloquent writing and themes make this one rise above the everyday contemporary middle grade book.
For the first time I touched the dog, stroking his head and neck, resting my hand on his shoulder. He seemed to like it, his eyes blinking slowly, as if he was feeling sleepy, or maybe remembering someone else’s hand that made him feel nice. “Even if we aren’t in the place we think of as home, we still know where we belong,” I told him
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Lean grew up in Wells, Somerset but now lives in Dorset with her husband, son and dog. She has worked as a page-planner for a newspaper, a stencil-maker and a gardener, amongst various other things. She gained a first class English degree and became a primary school teacher before returning to complete an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester. A Dog Called Homeless was her first novel. (For more about Sarah and all of her books visit her website)
I received an arc for my honest review. Please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!