Truth or Dare
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This issue’s cover shows Jane Simmons’ popular character, Daisy, and her baby brother Pip. Two Daisy books with their ‘dynamic yet affectionate pictures’ full of painterly exuberance are reviewed in this issue. Thanks to Orchard Books for their help in producing this May cover.
Josh settles for his uncle Patrick's old room in the attic when he stays at his grandmother's. While he begins to uncover the mystery of what happened to Patrick over forty years ago, his mother is simultaneously reliving the same childhood past as she sits at her computer. Between them, and then through the mirrored details of a computer game, the web of events of a 1950s summer are brought to life. Aliens have such a strong pull on the children's imaginations that everything points to an alien landing in fields nearby. The odd and different Patrick had drawn the actual craft with extraordinary precision. Rees weaves all these strands together with great skill in what is for some time a story of aliens but which, with a sudden and shocking shift, becomes a story of an awful tragedy, Patrick's autism, his incarceration, and his rescue by someone who discovers the 'remarkable human being' within. This is a very good book, skilfully multi-layered, unputdownable and, finally, very moving and thought-provoking.