By Author / Illustrator
Hachette Children's Group
Paperback / softback
AS SEEN ON BBC's THE GREAT BRITISH MENU.
***Winner of Peters Book of the Year 2015 and the Leeds Book Award.***
Grace's fun-loving Mum has found a lump. Her north London world of sleepovers, tap dancing and playing the clarinet fall apart when she is sent to live with her grumpy old granddad on his farm in Yorkshire while her mother goes into hospital to get better.
Grace misses her mother so much it hurts, and doesn't quite understand what is happening to her. And things go from bad to worse when she starts school and becomes the bullies' latest target.
But Grace is no longer alone when she meets Rainbow Girl Megan and her pig, Claude - when she's with them she feels as if she can confront anything.
At Easter time when Grace misses her mum the most, she knows she must find a way to get to London. With Megan's help, she hatches a plan to run away that involves Claude, chocolate Easter eggs and a risky ID swap. But it's all worth it if it means that she finally gets to see her mum ...
A gorgeous story of courage and friendship that will tug at your heart strings.
'A touching, beautifully imagined debut about a young girl coping with her mother's cancer and her grandfather's stubbornness. It's atmosphere reminds me of the central relationship in Goodnight Mr Tom.' Amanda Craig
'At times, desperately moving, and others riotously fun, this is a special book that is destined to charm readers old and young.' We Love This Book
'This is a lovely tale of friendship, tenacity and family secrets.' The Bookseller
Grace's dad has moved out and her mum needs to go to hospital. Try as she might to convince her mum to let her stay, she is sent to live on a farm in Yorkshire with her temperamental estranged Grandfather. She quickly meets and forms a strong bond with the free spirited Megan, her pig - Claude - and their hap hazard family who live beyond the blue door with the peeling paint. This is not a friendship that Granddad Bradley approves of and lies abound in an attempt to protect her. However, Grace comes to realise that sometimes you need a free spirit to help you take matters into your own hands and solve the problems of the present and the past. I read this book in one sitting, whilst most of the time wiping away tears! It is brilliantly funny and emotional and tackles the very tough subjects of forbidden friendship, bullying and breast cancer in an accessible, child-friendly manner. The book is written in two genres first person narrative and Graces diary entries. Therefore, it gives two perspectives: Graces experiences and her inner most feelings. This appeals to children, especially girls, as they are able to relate to her. Despite the difficult subject matter, A Room Full of Chocolate still manages to be funny and absolutely full of adventure. Megan is such a fun and alternative character; it is lovely to see someone like her letting children know that it is okay to be a bit different. Grace's inner turmoil is heart-breaking, but teaches the reader a lot about empathy. The journey the girls go on is immense, both literally and metaphorically and, although the ending is a bit twee, this is a brilliant book that I highly recommend. 250 pages / Age range: 10+ / Reviewed by Mikeala Morgans
Suggested Reading Age 9+