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The Girl who lost her Shadow

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow

Published: 26 Sep 2019

Paperback / softback, 224 pages

Recommended for age 11+

By Emily Ilett

Published by Floris Books

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On the morning of Gail's birthday, her shadow escapes. A lyrical, immersive and luminous tale of sisterhood, The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow tells of bravery, the effect of mental health issues and being strong enough to ask for help when we really need it.

The Library Boost for 11+

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Reviewed by Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow by Emily Ilett focuses on the challenges that we face when we experience loss.

A tale of becoming, full of twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages.

The story is centred around the main character Gail and the journey she has to go through. It’s one of courage and self-discovery, and throughout you are rooting for her to become the heroine that we as readers know she can be.

The story is set in a place that feels familiar yet sometimes mythical as Gail sets off to find her sister’s shadow that she thinks she has sent away. The author paints a clear picture with her words taking us through cramped tunnels or battling through raging seas. This is an accessible read that will appeal to a wide age range of children.

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow would make a suitable addition to any class or school library and would no doubt be one that is chosen again and again. It focuses on elements of sorrow and the feeling of being lost. However, it also covers hope, bravery and friendship. Sections could be read during circle time or PSHE/SMSC when considering resilience and self-belief. It also touches on considerations of ecology and the environment that would link to science and geography.

This title won Kelpies Prize for Scottish children’s writing in 2017.

I am a lecturer in Primary Education specialising in English at the University of Manchester. Lover of picture books, poetry, non fiction and fantasy. Passionate about using children's literature to develop children's empathy, self-awareness and social justice and human rights.