Reviews /

Halle had a Hammer

Authored by Richard O’Neill and Michelle Russell
Illustrated by Elijah Vardo
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

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Halle had a Hammer:

Halle is part of a close knit family of Romani Travellers who live in a home that moves around from place to place. Their ‘big van has the usual bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen’ but also includes their workshop where they make things for customers around the country.

Halle has learnt to use a range of tools since she was little and has learnt the importance of organisation and safety but her little brother Henry is still learning. The family are on a mission to help the people in the village of Trindle by making signs for their annual running race and they work closely as a team in an endeavour to make it a success.

The story portrays the life of a family of Romani Travellers and celebrates the way they become part of the community by helping and fixing things before moving on to help others. It opens up opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of families living within a travelling community. The book is written by Richard O’Neill who was brought up in a nomadic Romani Gypsy family and by Michelle Russell from a family of travelling showpeople.

The book is bright and colourful and suitable for children who are developing the confidence to read on their own. It is a Bloomsbury Young Reader book aimed at readers of 6-8 years and includes some ‘Tips for Grown ups’ with some suggested activities linked to the story.