Clementine and Rudy by Siobhan Curham
Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781406390230.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This is a joyous uplifting story of two girls, from different walks of life, finding a shared passion for art and poetry, in an unlikely collaboration that sustains them through family difficulties and into an optimistic future.
Alternating chapters lead us into the lives of Rudy, stealthy street artist by night and vegan cafe worker by day, and Clementine, dance student and budding poet, admirer of Emily Dickinson. When Clementine sees Rudy's artwork on a wall she is inspired to write a poem that she posts on Instagram; Rudy in turn is inspired by Clementine to create further artscapes.
Each of the girls is dealing with stepfather issues, but this is not a book about abuse, but one of finding one's dreams and pursuing them. Rudy and Clementine come from different backgrounds, but their common interest sustains them, and not even their shared interest in young musician friend Tyler comes between them. They know that their friendship and their art are the most important things.
It is so enjoyable to read a book with such positive messages about friendship, and following one's dreams. Themes: Street art, Poetry, Friendship, Collaboration.