5th January 2012, Andersen
192 pages, Paperback
Themes: school life, family ups and downs, parental separation, unemployment, mean girls, huge life changing secrets, bonds of sisterhood, some humour, a lot of tissues needed
Summary from Andersen
Lolly is Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature. She always wins magazine competitions, on scratch cards and any game you can think of. But when Lolly's dad loses his job and then the family home, Lolly's luck starts to change. And when she overhears her parents arguing, she learns a secret that will change her life forever.
Lolly is a real sweetheart, who understandably doesn't find it easy to deal with the challenges life throws at her. The bond she has with her sister helps her, even if they do sometimes bicker - and then some. This is a realistic story, with emotion rising up from each page at so many points that I can't list. Definitely 10/10 material!
You can find more about Ellie (and Lolly) on her website
A girl juggling a similar amount of life issues is Polly in Star Makers Club: Polly Plays Her Part by Anne-Marie Conway
Guest Blog Post
After enjoying Lolly's story so much, I was delighted to be invited to host a day on Ellie's blog tour. I'd like to thank Ellie for writing such an engaging book, and for an equally fun insight into her writing life.
Turning real-life into fiction by Ellie Daines
Three years ago I accidentally scared an Italian woman in London’s Borough Market when I explained to her that the venison a butcher was selling was the same as Bambi. She gasped in horror and I thought to myself, ‘I can use this in my book’. As soon as I got home I wrote a scene for Lolly Luck involving a character who too is overcome with shock when they find out what venison is. As a writer I’ve found it useful to draw on personal experiences and weave them into my work. Also, when I was developing the character of Lolly I referred back to my own childhood, my likes and dislikes and my own lucky streak. Like Lolly, I often won competitions and I even dreamed winning lottery numbers a few times. Unfortunately it wasn’t the jackpot but I think dreaming three numbers out of six is still pretty good.
I like to think of myself as being an observational writer – I like writing about the small details in everyday life that we may not always notice straight away. For example, the fact that so many people push buggies around which don’t actually have small children in them but shopping bags or laundry. This is something I actually mention in a scene from Lolly Luck. In general though, I think children are far more observant than adults and tend to notice a lot more than an adult will see. For me it’s important that my writing is able to show how a child makes sense of the complex and bizarre world we live in and that is something my protagonist Lolly is trying to do throughout the novel. Being an observational writer also means I never go anywhere without a pen and a notepad in case I see something which I think would create an interesting scene or spark an idea for a new character or sub-plot. When I’m writing I don’t normally write in chronological order; I like writing the key scenes first. I try to do a bit of writing every day, mostly in the evenings. However there have been times where I’ve found myself writing into the early hours of the morning and not going to bed until about 3am!
You can check out the rest of Ellie's tour stops with this tour schedule