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A moving, charming novel from much-loved, international-award-winning children's author Kate de Goldi, author of the 10pm question.

Moving, charming novel from much-loved, international-award-winning children's author Kate de Goldi, author of the 10pm question. Beautifully packaged and illustrated throughout with drawings by Greg O'Brien.

A Globe 100 Best Book of 2014

Perry’s mother and father are busy people … they’re impatient, they’re tired, they get cross easily. And they think that only children, like Perry, should be kept busy. On Saturday mornings Perry and her father visit her gran, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia rest home, but Gran never remembers them. ‘Who is that man?’ Honora Lee asks when Perry’s father leaves the room.

After movement class is abruptly cancelled, Perry is allowed to go to Santa Lucia on Thursday afternoons. She discovers her Gran has an unconventional interest in the alphabet, so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with the help of Honora and the others. Soon everyone is interested in Perry’s book project.

Kate De Goldi’s The ACB with Honora Lee unfolds with characteristic warmth, quirky, surprising humour and a rich cast of ‘residents’. The story is a meditation on kindness and patience and acceptance; that of the very young and the very old. It's a story that will resonate with echoes of recollection for many — from Perry’s endearing perspective on the adult world to the embracing kindness of those who care for the elderly.

A many-layered and playful novel with a crossover audience, it will delight both the young and the not so young.

Shortlisted for the NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2013 and the LIANZA Award 2013.

Reviews

Wholly unique in voice, and warmly hilarious, this story of a granddaughter making a book with her grandmother and her co-habitants in their long-term care home is a diamond.

Lauren Bride, Globe and Mail, Canada

I read this novel in one sitting. I think you have to in order to hold in your head what it is all about. Perry is an imaginative 9 year old girl who needs constant stimulation. She has thick lensed glasses, an inquisitive and sharp mind and a caring nature. You can say aah here. Her mother and father fill her life up with after school activities like music and art work but she needs more. Then she finds out about her grandmother, Honora Lee. Honora is in a rest home, has dementia and a head full of memories that burst out at any time. Perry adores visiting her and decides to do an ABC book about life in the rest home. I had a mother with dementia and this brought it all home to me. You will laugh and cry at the same time. As the ACB book evolves Gregory O’Brien illustrates with perceptive drawings that reflect Perry’s understanding with Honora’s dementia. Absolutely superb. I loved the way Kate showed the family connections through the dialogue, I hope the children don’t miss this. As I read I reached the conclusion that it was a children’s book for adults as well as an adult’s book for children.The link between the old and the young is wonderfully portrayed with the usual eccentricity that characterise Kate De Goldi’s books.

Bob Doherty, Bob's Book Blog

I read this novel in one sitting. I think you have to in order to hold in your head what it is all about. Perry is an imaginative 9 year old girl who needs constant stimulation. She has thick lensed glasses, an inquisitive and sharp mind and a caring nature. You can say aah here. Her mother and father fill her life up with after school activities like music and art work but she needs more. Then she finds out about her grandmother, Honora Lee. Honora is in a rest home, has dementia and a head full of memories that burst out at any time. Perry adores visiting her and decides to do an ABC book about life in the rest home. I had a mother with dementia and this brought it all home to me. You will laugh and cry at the same time. As the ACB book evolves Gregory O’Brien illustrates with perceptive drawings that reflect Perry’s understanding with Honora’s dementia. Absolutely superb. I loved the way Kate showed the family connections through the dialogue, I hope the children don’t miss this. As I read I reached the conclusion that it was a children’s book for adults as well as an adult’s book for children.The link between the old and the young is wonderfully portrayed with the usual eccentricity that characterise Kate De Goldi’s books.

Bob Doherty, Bob's Book Blog

[O]ne of those rare books that pays re-reading.

Barbara Else, NZ Books

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781869799915

    March 6, 2015

    Longacre Child

    120 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781869799908

    October 5, 2012

    RHNZ Children’s ebooks

    128 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Award
    2013
    Awarded
    Storylines Notable Junior Fiction
  • NZ Post Children's Book Awards
    2013
    Finalist
    Junior Fiction category

Also by Kate De Goldi

Sanctuary
Love, Charlie Mike
Closed, Stranger
From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle
The 10pm Question

Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
Juliet, Nearly a Vet collection 2
The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK12)
Undercover Princess
Alice-Miranda At School 1
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Midnight Jewel
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Trash
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
Wonder
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Witches
A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Library Of Souls
Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter
Pippa's Island 2: Cub Reporters
Now
Two Wolves