Lyla by Fleur Beale

Hello all, this week’s post features a book about more recent events that had a significant impact on New Zealand’s landscape, both physical and social, specifically the Christchurch earthquake of 2011. Reading it was like going back in time eight years ago to that evening when I saw the devastation on my TV screen but from a personal perspective. Have a read of this title if this description has intrigued you.

Lyla teen girl on top images of earthquake damage
Mesmerizing and inspirational read

Title: Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster series

Author: Fleur Beale

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Allen & Unwin; NSW, Australia, 2018

ISBN: 9781760113780

What this book is about: Lyla has just started her second year of high school when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes Christchurch to pieces. Devastation is everywhere. While her police officer mother and trauma nurse father respond to the disaster, Lyla puts on a brave face, opening their home to neighbors and leading the community clean-up. But soon she discovers that it’s not only familiar buildings and landscapes that have vanished – it’s friends and acquaintances too. Lyla needs to find a way to cope with her new reality as the earth buckles underneath her. A gripping and personal story about one girl’s experience of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and its aftermath.

My review: A truly gripping read!! Seeing it written up from a young person’s point of view is quite powerful; I felt as if I’d been there myself instead of watching it unfold on my TV screen which I had actually done that day!! Fleur Beale takes us straight to the heart of Christchurch and its survivors. She wastes no time with unnecessary description and tells this account with just the hard truth. This is a really good read to understand the true nature of New Zealanders; an honest, hard-working and caring community-focused nation. Some really courageous characters and a good story. Good for older readers. This series of books actually focuses on similar recent events that have shook our world from a young person at the centre. If you do find one of these, let me know what you think!

My rating: 4 ⭐

Additional notes: This title was nominated for the New Zealand Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards for Wright Foundation Esther Glen Best Junior Fiction in 2018 and NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book in 2019.

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