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Pub Date 1 Sep 2022 | Archive Date Not set
Pushkin Press, Pushkin Children's Books

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A tender, warmly moving story of grief and self-discovery by the celebrated author of When Life Gives You Mangoes.

When Brie was younger, her mama used to surprise her with treasure hunts around their island town. After she died three years ago, these became Brie's most cherished memories.

Now, on her twelfth birthday, her mama has another surprise: a series of letters leading Brie on one last treasure hunt.

The first letter guides Brie to a special place.

The next urges her to unlock a secret.

And the last letter will change her life forever.

A tender, warmly moving story of grief and self-discovery by the celebrated author of When Life Gives You Mangoes.

When Brie was younger, her mama used to surprise her with treasure hunts around their...

Available Editions

EDITION Mass Market Paperback
ISBN 9781782692812
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 23 members

Featured Reviews

This was such a beautifully written book that I couldn't put down, I read it in one very short sitting. It was a heart-wrenching read but also full of hope and courage. A very important book for chuildren especially those that have lost someone and are finsing it hard. A really good book

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If You Read This by Kereen Getten

I adored Getten’s first novel When Life Gives You Mangoes, and was almost apprehensive to start this book in case it didn’t live up to her first. But I couldn’t resist, and once I was into the story, I was captivated.

It begins more prosaically than her first novel, which opened with a feel of magic realism, the air of it sparked and shimmered; If You Read This has a more grounded feel to it: you can taste and smell: it’s a lovely old house of a book, full of cake and fabric and people whose voices come through strong and clear.

For Brie’s twelfth birthday she receives letters left to be given to her from the mother who has been dead for a few years. They are the start to an adventure. Her friends Smiley and Femi, her Nana, and her father are all woven into Brie’s story from the outset and Getten has the skill – an enviable one – of not taking chapters to make them feel familiar to the reader.

Brie’s father works too hard managing a resort, and this will feel familiar to readers: the target audience is at an age where they will be starting to see how hard the adults they know work, and many will think of times they needed help or reassurance they couldn’t get because a parent was too busy or distracted or stressed to be there.

Brie’s mother has been gone for several years when the story starts, and she misses her terribly, but also misses the way her family was with her mother in it – grief is like that, where you accustom yourself to the initial loss of the loved one and then spend years stumbling over all the connected losses.

Getten’s writing never drops a stitch: it’s so even and neat that I’m jealous. There’s a tension she manages to build that’s striated, and it takes the reader by surprise: I found myself worrying about entirely the wrong things on Brie’s behalf and it added to what I ultimately took away with me at the end. This is another wonderful book from Kereen Getten, and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to read it.

I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved this book. I read it in one sitting. It gave me P.S. I love you vibes but with a very different twist. I was so intrigued by the letters left by Brie's mum and it was bitter sweet to see how her relationship with her mum developed even after her mum's death. I think it was also important to see how her relationship with her father and the other members of her family changed over the course of the book. I would highly recommend this book to the children in my school and will definitely be purchasing it to put into our book corners.

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This book deals with loss and grief and how to come in terms with it. Part melancholic, part courageous, I was totally immersed into it beautiful and heart rendering story. Couldn't put it out of my mind even after I finished it within a short period of time.

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I'm not sure that I completely understand the term 'quiet book' but if it describes a book whose action is more in the changing mind and emotions of the main character rather than a fast moving plot then that is definitely the way to describe If You Read This. Once again Kereen Getten has managed to create an authentic and moving portrayal of a young person on that cusp between childhood and adolescence, filled with realistic friends and relationships and struggling with the biggest questions of all. The grief at the loss of Brie's mother is at the heart of this book but there's grief at the loss of her Father because of his grief as well and also a much more subtle point about the realisation that our parents are people. People who were once the same age that we are with similar hopes, dreams and problems. People who get things wrong and mess things up when they're trying their best to do otherwise and people who can be embarrassing and disappointing at times and who let us down because they have their own issues going on, although this doesn't reflect on their love for us or for our love for them. Readers of Rebecca Stead, Sarah Pennypacker and Karen Foxlee will love this book and it's an important addition to a growing group of sensitive, subtle titles for young people.

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I loved this book so much. The characters were so vivid. I could visualise them all. This story deals with grief and family relationships so well.

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