Dandelion Clocks by Rebecca Westcott – Blog Tour!

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I am delighted to be hosting a stop on the Dandelion Clocks blog tour. Rebecca Westcott is a very talented debut author who’s beautiful tale of loss was emotionally charged and surprisingly gentle. Diary entries play a big part in the storyline and I’m thrilled to be sharing a diary entry from an 11 year old Rebecca Westcott! Enjoy!

Summary from Goodreads

Dandelion Clocks by Rebecca Westcott Smith will be loved by fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy or Annabel Pitcher. Liv takes us on a journey through her life from “Thirteen Weeks Before” to “Six Months After”. We discover Liv’s passion for photography, her brother’s obsession with sticking to the rules, the stupidity of Moronic Louise at school, and how the family copes as Mum’s terminal illness takes hold…Guided by Mum’s own childhood diaries, Liv finds a new way to live. This book is real, funny, utterly touching and absolutely heartwarming. Despite the sadness at the heart of the story, every reader will laugh and keep on turning the pages, charmed by Liv and her mum. “A brilliantly told, ultra modern story about a significant six months in eleven year old Olivia’s life – it should be sold with a large box of tissues!” (Jacqueline Wilson).

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2014 by Puffin UK

My Review
 
Dandelion Clocks is a heartbreaking but very beautiful story that is told in the most sensitive way. Rebecca Westcott writes with great care and attention to detail – which makes this book a real, raw and very believable read.
 
I love how the story starts – with an 11 year old girl doing typical 11 year old girl things (ear piercings and boys). Also thinking her mother is the most embarrassing person in the whole world (I can totally relate). But things start to get strange when her mum starts acting out of character. Liv feels like she isn’t telling her something…
 
Loosing anyone in your life can be very tough but loosing your mother is devastating, especially for someone as young as Liv. This story broke my heart into a million pieces, Westcott’s ability to convey emotion is exceptional and I truly felt everything! The diaries that Liv’s mum gave her were very moving and added a little something extra special to the overall story.
 
Liv’s journey is not only heartbreaking but also heart warming. The way she learns to handle all of the big changes in her life, also learning to deal with her grief and try to live.
 
I really like how maturely Liv deals with her older brother, Isacc. He has something called Aspergers syndrome and doesn’t quite see the world like everyone else. While Liv is only 11, she handles looking out and after her brother with great care.
 
Dandelion Clocks is an outstanding debut that will stick in minds long after closing the book. It is filled with emotion, beautiful relationships, love, loss, grief and living. Have your tissues in hand and dive into this powerful and very moving story.
 
4 / 5 Stars!
 
*Special thanks to Puffin for the review copy*
 
 
About the Author

Rebecca Westcott was born in Chester. She went to Exeter University to train as a teacher and has had a variety of teaching jobs that have taken her to some very interesting places, including a Category C male prison. She started writing a diary when she was eight years old, although she had no idea that one day her entries would be used to help her write a book. Rebecca currently teaches in a primary school and lives in Dorset with her husband and three children. Dandelion Clocks is her first book.


 Rebecca’s Diary entry

March 1986 (aged 11)

Today was a C+ day. That means that it wasn’t completely horrible but it could have been a bit better. I had an argument with Emma at school because I said that I was a faster runner then her. It’s true but she got really cross with me and I had to sit on my own at lunchtime. My flask leaked AGAIN and my cheese sandwich was soggy. I hate cheese sandwiches. If we weren’t vegetarian I could have spam like Emma does.

Then, on the way home I got chased by Joanne. She hates me because I wear my socks pulled up over my knees and she says I look like a wally. It’s a good job that I can run fast because if she catches me she hits really hard. Everybody pulled their socks over their knees last year but now they’re all rolling them down by their ankles, like a big donut. I’d do that too but I don’t want Joanne thinking that she’s got the better of me.

There were some good things today. At school, Mr H read some more of The Demon Headmaster to us and when I got home, Mum let me borrow her Adam and the Ants record. I like the song called ‘Jolly Roger” best – I played it loads of times. Sometimes I wonder if maybe, Adam Ant is my real Dad. I think about what it would be like if he just turned up on our estate one day. I think he’d be an excellent dad. I’m going to keep practicing my dance moves in case he’s ever back on Top of the Pops and decides to take me with him.

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