To the Moon and Back by Dianne Bates (Big Sky Publishing) PB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Stacey Gladman
Dianne Bates’ To the Moon and Back was not what I was expecting - in all the right ways. In the first few chapters I was captivated and very much a part of the story.
To the Moon and Back is aimed at readers aged eight to 12 years that deals with a sensitive subject - parental divorce and its impact on children. In the first two chapters alone I was taken on a ride of emotions and went from thinking how powerful the story was, putting myself in the shoes of young Claire, whose mum is having an affair and ultimately moving in with her lover.
Claire is taken on a roller-coaster ride, moving from her family home to a lodging in Sydney, and just when she is feeling comfortable, another upheaval and she's forced to move into Mum’s boyfriend Mac's house in the country.
Before long Claire begins to make friends, but she longs to be with her Dad who has gone missing. Can she begin to see Mac as a father figure, or will she resent him for taking her Mum away?
I adored the book. Its topic, which I think has been dealt with sensitively, makes it a unique niche read, and certainly something many young readers will understand. The story line is well written, and I could certainly emphasise with Claire which are some hallmarks of a beautiful story.
I think the target market will be enchanted with this heart-warming story, with a number of key themes really standing strong including change, forming new friendships, relationships and parenting struggles.
A beautiful and well-rounded story!