A Game of Keeps (Celapene Press) www.celapenepress.com.au
A bright, cheerful girl, Ashley lives with her Mum, Jules, and guinea pig, Froggie, in a block of flats. She wants to become a dancer or actor and is talented at both. More than anything, though, she yearns for a closer relationship with her Mum. When Mum leaves Ashley alone once too often, a social worker suggests that a couple from Aunts and Uncles take Ashley for once-a-month respite care. Ashley loves being with Daisy and Will but is not impressed with Mum's new boyfriend, Eddie. At first Mum and Eddie are happy but soon their relationship becomes fractured. Worse, Mum falls pregnant. Despite Ashley's initial reluctance to welcome a baby into the family, she softens when it is born. At the same time, Ashley can see that Mum is calmer than before, and perhaps happier, too. Better still, Eddie is no longer in her life and Dad is due home soon from touring with his rock band.
This is a simple but affecting story for readers aged 7 to 11 years, which is told with warmth, honesty and humour.
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