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Becky Bananas this is your life ISBN: 9780006751489
Ure, Jean
Published by Collins, 1997

Becky Banares (Bananas to her friend Sarah) is 11 years old, and she has four ambitions - to visit Wonderland theme park, to star on 'This Is Your Life', to become a ballet dancer, and to be 12. This last may be the most difficult. Becky has acute myeloid leukaemia, and she is very ill. It is three quarters through the book before we discover Becky's problem, although hints have been given - about injections and trying to be brave. The truth comes as something of a jolt. It is only in thinking back that we remember she talks of her Gran's death and that Gran has said we will meet those we love after we die, that Becky's pet cat has died too, making her wonder sadly if she will see Kitty again. The book is a long reminiscence about Becky's life, the main events, her philosophy, how she feels about her mum and little brother, her Uncle Eddy, and her friend Zoe who has also been in hospital and who is always honest. Becky's life is coming to a close, and it is a natural process. She looks forward to Wonderland - to flying away in Concord 'all across the seas and the oceans and the mountains high amongst the clouds and all through the stars' - where Gran and Kitty are waiting. Very moving but positive in its approach to death, this book could be most helpful to a child who has lost a friend through serious illness. The black and white illustrations are sometimes helpful, but not always.
Age: 10+