My younger children enjoyed Lucy’s Dream, though my eldest, who is 11, had no interest in it.
The book is aimed at six to 12-year-olds so it appears to be finding an audience in the younger half of that bracket at least. I like that the story had a lot of detail and stimulated a lot of discussion, which is what one would hope a historical story would do.
I’ve never believed children’s stories should be all fairies and roses and, according to the author, this book sets out to tackle a very intense subject, in a way that is relatable to children and I think she succeeds.
The books tells the story of Lucy and her small fishing community.
Lucy is a talkative little girl living in Simon’s Town in the 1960s. The ambitious little busy-body has no idea that a visit by “a very pale man with a wrinkled face, wearing a black suit” is going to cause untold amounts of pain for the people of that area, for generations to come.
The story about the pain and tension caused in the run-up to the forced removals at Simon’s Town, and thereafter, is told from the viewpoint of the six-year-old.
But the story is also positive. The endearing message at the end of the book is to not allow your circumstances today to destroy your future.
By the end of the book, Lucy decides that she will not let the “man in the black suit” take her dreams. To quote the philosophical six-year-old: “They took away our houses, they took away our school and they took away our beach but they will not take away our dreams.”
A positive message indeed.