Recommended age: 9+

The List of Real Things

by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Grace and Bee's parents died suddenly, and now they are living with their grandfather and their uncle.

Grace is older and is expected to look out for Bee. But Bee has a lively imagination. She doesn't always know the difference between what's real and what's not.

As Grace tries to make life normal again, by becoming friends with the cool kids at school, she becomes more annoyed by Bee's quirky ways.

Then she finds that Bee isn't so odd after all.

This is a lovely book in terms of its characterisation but the subject matter is difficult.

Bee believes that she sees people who are dead, and she thinks that the girls' parents are living in a hotel on a cliff nearby.

Would this be a book to give to a recently bereaved child? How would readers respond to the thought of both parents dying? Would the book open up discussions about death, and heaven - if so, the parent should read the book, too, to enable discussions about the ideas featured in it.

I started the book thinking that it was an account of a child dealing with bereavement, but it turned into a tale of ghosts and fantasy.

It is a lovely book, and I do like this author very much.

Review date: February 2018
The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald