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“All children are afraid of the dark,” says ten-year-old Mafalda sagely, and she knows this more than most, for her world is misting over. At some point in the next six months she will lose her sight to Stargardt Disease. Mafalda tries to get on with life but, as the days pass, the mist’s darkness descends ever faster, leaving her increasingly lonely.
The novel’s universal, book-for-all-ages power has echoes of The Little Prince. Indeed, de Saint-Exupéry’s classic is referenced here by the inspiring one-of-a kind Estella, a school caretaker Mafalda befriends, who advises her to find her rose, “the thing that’s essential to you”, just like the Little Prince. Mafalda measures her vision in paces from a very special cherry tree. And, movingly, the book’s five parts are headed with titles that point to the deterioration of her sight, starting with Part One Seventy Metres, the distance from which she can see the cherry tree as the novel begins.
Estella delivers further vital advice later in the novel: “To live in fear is not to live at all”, and it’s Estella who helps make a truly magical, heart-rending ending. Readers of all ages will be drawn deep into Mafalda’s poignantly pitch-perfect narrative. Younger readers will identity with, for example, how she knows when her parents are discussing something important but can’t quite grasp the meaning, while adult readers will fill in the blanks Mafalda is left puzzling over. Inspired by the author's own experience of Stargardt Disease, this is a dazzlingly tender and timeless tale of love and courage. - Joanne Owen
Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed. A moving, empowering tale of courage and determination that will inspire young and old.
Closing date: 05/08/2019
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
A story all about Mafalda whose sight is failing. She must discover all the things that are most important to her. A book that will make you think about what you love most! Full review
This is a heart warming book that made me really think about how some people have difficult problems in their lives but they don’t let it stop them from believing in what they can do. Full review
A touching tale about a little girl who has to face big changes. A story which teaches us all about what is most important in life and about the value of friendship and love in tough times. Full review
“All children are scared of the dark…” This story is about friendship, love and accepting your destiny, even when it’s not what you wanted. We could see this book made into a film! Full review
Perfect for fans of ‘Wonder’, this is a powerful, bittersweet story of a girl’s journey into darkness as she loses her sight. Full review
This is a beautiful and heart-breaking story. I would recommend for both teens and adults. Full review
Beautiful book. Really made me think about what is important in life. Full review
The title and its significance will stay in my mind for a long while. Full review
A heartwarming story about 9 year old Mafalda who will lose her sight in the next few months and how she copes knowing that she will be in darkness. Full review
A simply told, bitter-sweet story, with a powerful poetic message -- Jacqueline Wilson
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
|Publication date:||9th August 2018|
|Publisher:||Hot Key Books|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, eBook Favourites, Exclusive Pre-Publication,|
|Categories:||General fiction (Children's / Teenage),|
Paola Peretti is Italian and was born in the province of Verona, where she still lives today. She studied literature and philosophy and graduated in publishing and journalism in 2011 with a thesis on gender discrimination in literature. Between 2015 and 2016 she attended the Palomar School of creative writing in Rovigo. During and after her studies she worked as a waitress, bartender, baby sitter and teacher, while writing articles for the local newspaper. Fifteen years ago, she discovered that she was affected by a rare genetic illness called Stargadt Disease which causes progressive vision loss, and eventually blindness. There is no cure ...More About Paola Peretti