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    First Light by Rebecca Stead 

    Welcome back to a new school year.  I hope you all had a lovely summer and read lots. 

    My favourite children’s book of the summer and this month’s recommended read was “First Light” by Rebecca Stead, which was first published in this country in 2014 although Rebecca has been a very well known writer in the United States for some time and has won many prizes. 

    “First Light” tells the story of Peter, who joins his parents in a scientific expedition to Greenland and of Thea, who lives in a secret world under the ice.  When they meet, all kinds of secrets are released.

    This book reminded me of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy in its superb creation of another icy world. Stead writes with great skill and imagination and, despite the easily accessible plot, tackles some very important themes. Her characters are powerful and although some experienced readers will guess the plot’s main twist before it is explained, it never feels predictable. 

    I felt that the story was setting up a sequel, or even a “prequel” but Stead has so far not returned to this story.  Instead, she has written two other books, both well worth exploring “Liar and Spy” and “When you reach me”.  A new book, “Goodbye Stranger” is due to be published this month and I will certainly be looking out for it.