Reviews /

The Amazing Edie Eckhart -The Big Trip

Authored by Rosie Jones
Illustrated by Natalie Smillie
Published by Hachette Children's Group

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This is the second outing for Edie Eckhart, and although I haven’t read the first book in the series, it really didn’t matter. You are launched straight into Edie’s story on Christmas Eve. Once I realised that we were kindred spirits with our love for Brussels sprouts and strawberry creme Quality Street (not at the same time!) I wanted to find out more about her.

And find out more about her we do, told in the form of Edie’s diary. She addresses her cerebral palsy in a very matter of fact way, laughing at it but kindly and informatively for her audience. Being a little wobbly certainly doesn’t stop her. Edie loves to perform, and the school drama club is what she enjoys being part of. When there is a drama bootcamp planned for the February half term, she pleads with her parents to be allowed to go.

We also find out about Edie’s family and friends: her Mum, Dad, brother Louie and Grandad Eric as well as her friends Oscar, Flora and Georgia. Together they form an Edie support network, and all offer advice to her when she questions herself. When she is given a presentation task to do by her English teacher about who she really is, Edie clams up and can’t talk to anybody. How can she tell anybody who she is when she doesn’t know?

There are so many heart-warming moments in this book that I don’t know where to start. Oscar tells Edie ‘You don’t need to fix everyone and make people happy. Just do things that make you happy. And it’s OK not to have all of the answers yet.‘ Such wise advice that I think many of us could benefit from!

Edie is conflicted about her feelings for Flora. Her tummy feels funny whenever she thinks about her, yet she doesn’t necessarily want to say that she’s gay. This relationship is written so thoughtfully and sensitively, and it was beautiful to see it unfolding throughout the book.

The Big Trip to drama bootcamp doesn’t go well. Another school has joined them and their teacher is extremely serious and unpleasant to Edie about the speed of her speech. After half-term Edie decides to stop going to drama club. It’s not until a few weeks later at parent’s evening that things are resolved and the truth comes out about their trip.

Rosie Jones has written a wonderful book, from the heart. Edie Eckhart will creep up on you unawares and envelop you in a big hug that will stay with you for a long time. I’m going to go and find myself a copy of the first book in this series as I’d like to see how Edie’s story starts.