FRIENDSHIP, ART AND BEING REAL- Clementine and Rudy by Siobhan Curham

Siobhan Curham has a strong history of writing books for young people that speak to the heart of blossoming creativity, authentic voices and living, finding your tribe and standing strong in a society that wants...sameness. And throughout her books, she does this in a quiet, determined way, revealing the little shadows that seek to dim the light inside and fail. She consistently brings together the most unlikely of people and through her story, cements unbreakable bonds between them.
Enter now, Clementine and Rudy...
author: Siobhan Curham
Walker Books (4 June 2020)
ISBN: 9781406390230
Two 'ordinary' girls from different worlds, living only a few streets apart...
Rudy is a young Street Artist, seeking out late at night even though nerves get the better of her, to reveal her images to an unsuspecting Brighton. Clementine is a poet, responding to the images she finds on Instagram with heartfelt, genuine words that seem to flow out of her of their own accord. When she responds to Rudys' bold new image, the girls meet up. From very different backgrounds, the meeting is tenuous at first. Rudy lives with her Mum, who works night shifts, working at a café to help make ends meet and struggling to find a way out into an artistic path of her own. In Clementines' life, there are no money issues, but her washed-up radio DJ stepdad has them all under his thumb. The girls, however, rapidly form a bond of friendship through which they tackle the difficulties each has at home, the preconceptions of others (and themselves!) An artistic collaboration is born that encourages them both to give voice to the unfairness they see around them and imagine a life less ordinary. Together, they make an unstoppable force that creates big changes in their own world.
The cornerstone of this book is friendship and the difference it makes in life; how through developing an honest, genuine bond, we can see things more clearly, have the support to follow through on new opportunities and how everything becomes that bit brighter. Written with a colour and vibrancy that grows along with the girls' friendship, the story is typical, but extraordinary at the same time. The reader is shown all the frustrations, foibles, idiosyncrasies and dilemmas that face any young person on the path to taking charge of their own life, but we are also shown the joy and the heart as it is reflected in the eyes of friends. We can actually visualise the colours brighten and change as the plot builds, given to us through the language and the atmosphere. There is a wonderful streak of quiet rebellion, as the girls become more confident in their creative, artistic voices. The encouragement of that creativity seeps out to all of us; the urgency of the creative part within and the necessity of bringing it out into the world. This may seem like a simple, feel-good read for teens, but don't let that fool you. It is so much more. Heartfelt, textural, compelling...this book simply sings. Go on, follow your dreams.

And I thoroughly encourage you to read Siobhans' other books, particularly The Moonlight Dreamers and Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. Totally wonderful in every way.


Popular posts from this blog

The Rights of the Reader

The Summer of Lily and Esme by John Quinn....25 years