Last week, four of our member schools were lucky enough to have a visit from Sarah Lean. Sarah's new book, 'The Sand Dog' is a lovely story, beautifully written.
Set in the Mediterranean, Azi is struggling to cope with the disappearance of his grandfather. He is living with his uncle, who runs a busy tourist restaurant on the beach and Azi helps out as much as he can, but he is not really interested. His heart lies with finding his grandfather and the beauty of the sea and the island he lives on. Azi takes the appearance of nesting sea turtles and a stray dog to be two signs that his grandfather will return and he starts looking for the third, final sign. But, as Azi finds out more about his grandfather's leaving, so he uncovers more and more secrets about his own past.
Azi is a wonderful character- kind and considerate, steadfastly loyal to his grandfather. The relationship he develops with the dog, Sandy, and the young tourist, Beth, are lovely and help him to come to understand what it means to belong and the importance of family.
The story is rich in detailed description and carefully observed characters, making it a compelling read. Sarah also explores some difficult topics - addiction, family relationships- with great empathy and tact, making this a wonderful story.
The schools that Sarah visited were all delighted by the sessions she held with their children. One head teacher said, "We had a brilliant morning with Sarah. She was very interesting and gave us some good ideas and writing tips. She even stayed on to work with a group after her presentation - a lovely lady."
One teacher said, "What a great morning we had yesterday with Sarah Lean. Her presentation was really helpful for the children as it gave them an insight into her writing process and hooked them in to wanting to read her book." Another commented on how much the children had enjoyed listening to her and how inspired they had been.
Huge thanks to Sarah for coming to our schools and to Waterstones in Weston for helping us to organise copies of the books for the Friday visits.
The Sand Dog Sarah Lean
Harper Collins ISBN: 978- 0008165819