Recommended age: 10+

The Apple Tart of Hope

by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Oscar and Meg are neighbours and friends, chatting to each other from their bedroom windows each day and sharing in life's ups and downs. They seem to have something very special. Indeed, Oscar is much loved by everyone. He's had a tragic start to life but seems full of hope and generosity, and is known for his delicious, some would say magical, apple pies...

The neighbourhood is shocked when one day Oscar disappears and is assumed dead.

The narrative begins at this point, and retraces the months leading up to these events. Meg had left for New Zealand with her family and the house rented by a mother and daughter. The girl is Meg's age and seeks to take up with Oscar where Meg left off. But when she is spurned, Paloma seeks to take her revenge.

This is a beautiful book covering friendship, bullying, bereavement, disability, suicide attempts. Sounds bleak but even as it touches on some dark and serious subjects, the tone is magical and uplifting, full of hope and the importance of kindness. I loved it! And it has a beautiful cover!