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Potently timely, Diana McCaulay’s Daylight Come is a Caribbean-set masterwork of speculative fiction that explores humanity and avenues of hope in the devastating wake of climate change. It’s 2084. The island of Bajacu is under the ruthless rule of the Domins. While “dawn used to be hopeful,” the inhabitants are now “on the run from the day” as a result of the sun’s scorching strength forcing people to sleep by day and work by night. In the cooler mountains, the Toplander elites protect themselves in a hidden refuge, while Sorrel and her mother Bibi are struggling Lowlanders. On her fourteenth birthday, Sorrel makes a promise: “one day, she would find a place where it was possible to sleep in the dark and go outside all day when it was light.” Sick of their precarious, close-to-starving existence, and having heard of the Tribals, people in the island’s interior who’ve found ways of sustaining themselves and surviving the attacks of feral animals, Sorrel persuades her mother to head for higher ground. Bibi’s narrative reveals the environmental changes that led to this situation - the escalating global effects of “melting ice, swirling snowstorms, cities swallowed by earthquakes”. Closer to home, “the crops began failing and the fruit trees stopped bearing.” Human fertility declined too, resulting in fertile women falling prey to Domin men. During their gruelling journey, Sorrel, the girl who came into the world as the sun rose, the girl whose birth was “daylight come,” is rescued by a young Tribal woman. The Tribals have made a life for themselves in the cooler highlands, where breadfruit and coconuts still grow, where water is plentiful - bounties Sorrel has never known. Mother and daughter are taken to the Tribal elder who will decide if they can stay but, at 45, Bibi is too old. Blamed for the state of the world, and a seen as a drain, older people have no value in this society. The elemental beauty of Bibi and Sorrel’s bond is a powerful thread - how Bibi knows her daughter bone-deep and makes the most profound sacrifice for her. Sisterhood is central too, as seen through the tribe of resourceful women coming together in a society in which men and women are deeply divided. And it’s women who devise and lead the courageous, perilous act that may forge a more hopeful future. Gritty, moving, and startlingly plausible, this exceptional novel delivers an extraordinarily powerful perspective on pertinent problems facing humankind right now (hunger, environmental ruination, deep social inequalities), but beams of hope burn through the bleakness.
Collins Big Cat supports every primary child on their reading journey from phonics to fluency. Top authors and illustrators have created fiction and non-fiction books that children love to read. Book banded for guided and independent reading, there are reading notes in the back, comprehensive teaching and assessment support and ebooks available. Finny is a rare fairy fish living on a Caribbean coral reef. He has never seen another fairy fish, until one day he sees himself in a conch shell mirror and realizes he is different from everyone else. Finny believes he is ugly and worthless, but his friends persuade him to leave the reef and journey to the deep sea where an elder dolphin explains to him that difference it to be celebrated. Finny the Fairy Fish deals with themes of tolerance, belonging and celebration of diversity, using a Caribbean coral reef as the setting. The book introduces the types of creatures living on a reef and some of the threats facing the sea. It also encourages children to identify and talk about emotions. Purple/Band 8 books offer developing readers literary language, with some challenging vocabulary. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
Gone to Drift is an award-winning coming-of-age adventure story set in Jamaica. Life gets even tougher for Lloyd, a boy from a fishing village, when his grandfather goes missing at sea - 'gone to drift' as the local fishers say. Lloyd sets out to find him but no one will help except an uptown girl who studies dolphins, his best friend Dwight and - just perhaps - a mad man called Slowly on a sun-baked beach. Truth? Respect? Survival? Remembering what Maas Conrad had taught him about the old ways, Lloyd discovers that the enemies of the sea - and his grandfather - are closer to home than he could imagine.