The Amazing Edie Eckhart ISBN: 9781444958348
Published by Hodder Children's Books, 2021
Edie is almost 12 when this novel begins, and she is SO excited to be starting secondary school - particularly with her best friend, Oscar. She and Oscar have been best friends forever, and he carries around a first aid kit for her numerous falls and an extra pair of tights for when hers get torn. She depends on him and in a sense, he depends on her because he is a carer by nature and really wants to help. This is important to them both because Edie has Cerebral Palsy. She walks slowly with 'wobbles', speaks slowly, and occasionally dribbles when stressed. She is also sparky, full of fun and has a great line in slang and idiomatic phrases. As her creator is Rosie Jones, a woman with CP, who also just happens to be a stand-up comedienne, actor, and all-round funny lady, she knows whereof she speaks. The story is told by way of Edie's diary, and we learn a great deal about how she feels about her CP, how it affects her life in general (and often in particular), how she makes new friends at school, (and one who isn't great) and ultimately ends up playing the lead in the school play of 'A Christmas Carol: Scrooge personified in a Victorian girl's dress! She also believes almost throughout the tale that she really wants a boyfriend, and discovers in the end that it's a girlfriend whom she loves. Whether this is a life-long commitment or a teenage pash, we never learn, but either way, we feel that Edie will come through it all with flying colours and that she is a remarkable young lady. She and Oscar discover that they can always be best friends and also have their own interests and needs - a life lesson for everyone. One of Edie's 'needs' is that she must learn to look after herself. A loving, supportive family come into the story too. I loved it!