Ahead of Young Carer Action Day on the 15th of March, we’ve gathered up some brilliant books that feature young unpaid carers and asked our very own young carers to read and review them.
Every young carer has their own story: who they look after, their unique skills and talents, their hopes and ambitions, but they are often overlooked in books. Below you can enjoy a few of the amazing reviews of these carer friendly titles – recommended for young carers by young carers.
- Skellig – David Almond
‘Skellig by David Almond takes on the story of Michael who is more than unhappy to move into a dishevelled house with his baby sister who is becoming increasingly ill. However, Michael discovers peace in the garage where he finds a… mysterious man (Skellig) that becomes a metaphor for Michael’s hope in his desperate need for his sister to survive.’ – Rhianna James, Young Carer.
- The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline Wilson
‘The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson…is a delight to read as you follow the children Dolphin and Star’s journey to protect and look after mum who they love with all their hearts.’ Andrea James, Young Adult Carer Officer at Carer Support Wiltshire & unpaid carer.
- Who Let the Gods Out? – Maz Evans
‘Who let the Gods Out? By Maz Evans…is quite an easy read, with some good humour throughout. The main character Elliot, is relatable to young carers, showing the stress and strain of responsibility for caring at a young age. The book handles heavy subjects well, keeping the tone light-hearted but also informative.’ – Amy, Young Carer
- Love Frankie – Jacqueline Wilson
‘This coming-of-age story hits the contrast between first love and pain as Frankie helplessly tries to balance her mum’s illness and her own challenge to find out who she really is herself…The plot is emotionally provoking, and conveys a fresh and beautiful LGBT story that Wilson has brilliantly weaved into a children’s novel. ’- Rhianna James, Young Carer
‘Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson is the perfect read…it realistically portrays the challenge of growing up…The book had everything you could ask for and more!’ – Katie Miller, Young Carer
- The Boy in the Tower – Polly Ho-Yen
‘Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-yen is an amazingly written dystopian novel that closely follows the life of young Ade as he fights to survive in an ever-changing world…This beautifully written page turner will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.’ – Katie Miller, Young Carer
- Apple and Rain – Sarah Crossan
‘Apple and Rain is both a heart-wrenching and moving story plot following teenager Apple who…leaves her Grandmother to live with her mum where she believes she will be truly loved. However, Apple only comes to realise that she is simply there to care for her younger sister…The poetic nature of the novel cleverly contrasts both the bleakness and hopefulness of Apple’s journey through the bonding moments between both sisters and witnessing the character development of the protagonist Apple as she grows to love unexpectedly and forgive those who caused her pain. Crossan allows an insight into younger children having to care for their siblings under various situations of neglect.’ – Rhianna James, Young carer
Looking for more young carer friendly books? Why not try these:
- A Library of Lemons – Jo Cotterill
Believable, memorable, charming and moving, fans of Jacqueline Wilson’s domestic dramas will enjoy this bittersweet story of a family finding their feet in the next chapter of their lives.
- The Boy Whose Wishes Came True – Helen Rutter
Archie Crumb thinks he is nothing special, until a footballing fairy godfather gives him nine wishes and the chance to change everything. A rewarding read that deals with similar issues to Jacqueline Wilson but in a more reassuring way.
- I am the Minotaur – Anthony McGowan
Matthew does his best to be invisible, especially at school. He doesn’t want anyone to notice him or use the horrible nickname ‘Stinky Mog’ that he was given a few years ago. Everything is much easier if no one notices him, so he stays under the radar and watches life from the side-lines.
- Ella on the Outside – Cath Howe
Ella’s going through a lot of changes – a new home, a new school, and a big family secret to keep under wraps. But how far will she go to stay friends with popular girl Lydia? An enormously entertaining read that will strike a chord with many young readers.
- The Rollercoaster Boy – Lisa Thompson
Todd’s life is like a rollercoaster ride, with endless twists and turns, exacerbated by the unpredictable behaviour of his mentally ill father. A wonderful, multi-layered story, with an intriguing plot, fabulous characters and plenty of humour.
Thanks to World of Books for supplying us with books.