Snow Play, by Claire Saxby

‘It’s like nothing else…Even the air sounds different, because the snow crunches when you move. Sometimes it’s like being on ice-cream, all smooth. It’s like there’s a blanket on the air, making everything sound softer. And other times it’s like being on an ice-skating rink, only on a slope. And if it’s early and it’s been snowing…then it’s like floating on bubbles.’

Jamie has never been to the snow before, but when she’s finally invited to go and see it, she isn’t so sure. The person inviting her is Gemma Watten. Gemma is the quietest girl in her class, and Jamie doesn’t know her at all. What will they talk about? What if they don’t get along?

Snow Play is a delightful tale of friendship and fitting in, set against the backdrop of a day in the snow. Author Claire Saxby has worked hard to recreate the wonder and novelty of the snowfields for readers who may not have had the experience. At the same time, the story line is strong and avoids being predictable or preachy which could easily happen in a story of this length and with these themes.

Part of the Go Girl series, the sparkly cover is sure to attract young readers, but it is the story which will really draw them in.

Good stuff.

Snow Play, by Claire Saxby
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2007

Deepwater Blues, by Claire Saxby

Ned loves to swim, but when his friend Jori takes him for a holiday on an island with the deepest waters in the world, Ned is scared. He likes to know where the bottom is when he swims. What if something pulls him down? What if something is hidden in the depths? He wonders if he can enjoy the holiday without swimming out where the water looks black.

Deepwater Blues is a great junior novel which explores how one kid deals with his fears and discovers that overcoming them can open up a whole new world of experiences. Author Claire Saxby manages to achieve this without being preachy or obvious – kids can enjoy the story for its own sake.

Deepwater Blues is part of the new Breakers series from Macmillan Education, suitable for children with a reading age between 8.5 and 10.5.

Deepwater Blues, by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Dave Deakin
Macmillan Education, 2003