Girl on wire by Lucy Estela

cover image

Ill. by Elise Hurst. Puffin, 2018. ISBN 9780143787167
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Confidence. Courage. Determination. The girl hesitantly watches from her perch in the upper reaches of the buildings. She is unsure and stands there for hours, just looking at what she must do. Finally she steps out onto the wire stretched before her leading her across to the building in the distance. She curls her toes around the wire, and pushed forward, inching her way across the wire. The wind whips around her and when she allows herself to look down she sees how impossibly high she is. Unsettled she drops to the wire, calling for help, and a response comes from the other side, telling her that she is there, waiting for her but she must traverse the wire herself.
The illustrations in this book like those in Adelaide's secret world (2016) are strangely fantastical, recreating an almost mythical place which is nearly as we know it but not quite. It is a place that seems just out of reach with its swirling winds and leaves, the indistinct buildings an the ghostly faces peering out.
The illustrations form a breathtaking backdrop to the tension within the story of a young girl setting out on life's journey and overcoming obstacles on her way through life. She must keep going, despite the pitfalls and diversions, knowing someone is waiting for her.
Her courage is there for all to see.
Fran Knight