A sweet read, Candy Floss is an engrossing slice of life tale following the calamities and triumphs of pre-teen girl Flora Barnes, who is very sweet and very real.
Admittedly, I was first drawn to this book by the flash and colour of the front cover, as well as my love for cotton candy (or candy floss as the British author iterates). However, the story itself is anything but superficial (as was my first impression), delving into difficult issues such as divorce and poverty without being terribly depressing. Aimed at a pre-teen audience it could be hard to avoid being patronizing, but Clean Break and Vicky Angel. However, Candy Floss remains my favourite.accomplishes this with seeming ease, as she does in her other books such as
The intimate details and honest voice with which the story is told make it tangible and absorbing. As the reader, we get to experience the roller coaster ride of Flora's life, the good and the bad, both described in rich detail. Thus, even when Flora is in precarious situations such as her father going bankrupt, there is still some relief when the author provides precious moments of levity in the next chapter when something good happens (which it does inevitably, as the fortune teller in the carnival caravan predicts).
The illustrations within this book also deserve mention as they are unique, courtesy of. Each chapter has its own page of illustrations - snapshots of events that occur in each chapter almost like a mini comic strip. It's entertaining to look at them before each chapter to try and guess what they could refer to, but it's equally enjoyable to look at them after, finally realizing the significance of the little details. The final illustration of the book even answers a few last questions.
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