Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Diamond by Jacqueline Wilson (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

September 2013, Doubleday Children's, 304 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Themes: life for the poor, being unwanted, sing your talents, compassion, alcoholic parent, slavery, living in acircus, domestic violence, friendship, small comforts, hope, despair, living in fear, happy ending bravery, chocolate and cake

Content: Some physical abuse, lots of tension and peril, a tissue is needed

Diamond wasn’t always a star. Born to penniless parents who longed for a strong, healthy son, she was a dainty, delicate daughter - and a bitter disappointment.

Discovering she has an extraordinary gift for acrobatics, Diamond uses her talent to earn a few pennies, but brings shame on her family. Then a mysterious, cruel-eyed stranger spots her performing, and makes a deal with her father. Diamond is sold for five guineas, and is taken to become an acrobat at Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus.

The crowds adore Diamond, but life behind the velvet curtains is far from glamorous. Her wicked master forces Diamond to attempt ever more daring and dangerous tricks, until she is terrified to step into the ring. But there are true friends to be found at the circus, too: the gentle Mister Marvel; the kindly Madame Adeline; and the glorious Emerald Star, Tanglefield’s brand-new ringmaster, and Diamond’s heroine.

When life at the circus becomes too dangerous to bear any longer, what will the future hold for Diamond? And will her beloved Emerald be a part of it?

Nayuleska's thoughts 
My heart did more than twinge as I read Diamond's bittersweet tale. Every time life seemed to be on the up something unexpected happened to Diamond, making life a real test of her courage. The cruelty and humiliation she suffers from her blood father and so called adoptive father slash mentorwas a bit tough to read because sadly such things happen in our lives. However it is the hope which Diamond's new friends provide which see her through the tough times, and surprisingly when times are extra tough even those who didn't warm to her stretched their hands and hearts to the brave circus girl whom no reader will forget in a hurry.

You can find out more on Jacqueline's website.

Suggested read
One of Diamond's new friends, Hetty, already has her own series - I've read Sapphire Battersea

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