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After Iris (Paperback)
It has been three years since Blue Gadsby lost her twin sister, Iris. She feels lost, friendless and invisible. To remain on the periphery, Blue becomes a videographer, recording the Gadsby family in all their eccentricity, including an older sister who’s a drama queen and two younger siblings who adore their pet rats and hold rat races for them in small model sports cars. Blue’s parents are never at home, bringing more angst to a wobbly household. Turmoil is heightened when Joss, a new-boy-next-door, upsets the fragile family dynamic. There is much to love about this achingly sad and laugh-out-loud funny book. I found it irresistible. Ages 10 & up. ~ Rodie— From Rodie
An unforgettable middle-grade debut that will steal your heart
Blue Gadsby's twin sister, Iris, died three years ago and her family has never been the same. Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home-and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family's trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.With the charm of The Penderwicks and the poignancy of When You Reach Me, Natasha Farrant's After Iris is a story that will stay with readers long after the last page.
About the Author
Natasha Farrant is a literary scout specializing in children's and young adult literature, and she has published three novels in the United Kingdom. This is her debut middle grade and her first book published in the United States.
"Bluebell Gadsby is the kind of heroine who brings to mind Cassandra Mortmain in ‘I Capture the Castle’ or Harriet the Spy…”
-The New York Times
"At once funny and painful and tumultuous, with a deus-ex-machina ending that will make readers want to cheer."
-The Wall Street Journal
"A realistic slice of life that bubbles with wit and charm."
-School Library Journal
"The grand finale...is one of the best Christmas scenes ever."
-The Horn Book
"[Natasha Farrant] balances Blue’s growth with wry humor and light moments...Blue’s struggles are handled with honesty, and she makes a rewarding journey from observing her life to living it again and accepting what she has lost."
"Natasha Farrant gives a full, engaging portrait of a complicated family through the eyes of Blue Gadsby, surviving twin and aspiring filmmaker."
"Bluebell is poignantly marked out as the observer in a crowd of actors...readers who enjoy quirky family stories may want to follow the Gadsbys’ journey to reconciliation."
"They used to be a unit: Flora, twins Bluebell and Iris, Twig, and Jasmine. But now Iris is dead, and the family is falling apart. Dad spends most of his time in Warwick—perhaps writing, perhaps having an affair (possibly both, of course). Mum jets around for her new job. The kids are being watched by male au pair Zoran. And Blue, almost 13, is watching from behind her video camera, trying not to get involved with life when it can hurt you so badly. But life has a way of drawing in even the reluctant. When wild, sweet Joss moves next door, he captures her heart, only to break it after becoming involved with Flora. Still, there is skateboarding to be learned and friendships to be reignited—and a family to be repaired, but that’s a more complicated process. Farrant offers a story that is a mix of madcap fun and heartfelt emotion. The characters, adults and children, are flat-out wonderful, fully realized, and unique. The movie “scripts” that frame some of the chapters can distract, but the narrative quickly returns to Blue’s voice, which captures events better than video."