It’s been a morbid week so far. I’ve gone from talking brain tumours and missing teenagers to an urn with someone’s ashes. Ashes with a message. Sex may still be somewhat taboo in British YA books, but death and how you get there, is alive and well, so to speak. It isnt’ that long since the Resident IT Consultant queried whether it really was OK to kill off the main character halfway through a children’s book.
I’m not surprised Jenny Valentine won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize with her first book, Finding Violet Park. It’s not just a good story, it’s different and special.
Violet Park has been dead a long time when Lucas comes across her ashes in the office of a taxi company. With the help of his grandmother and other family members, as well as friends, Lucas finds out who Violet was and what happened to her.
It’s a journey of discovery, which also helps Lucas understand his own life, and that of his missing, or possibly dead, father. Finding Violet Park is both funny and sad. A really good read.