Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch
Another book I read ages ago. Over Christmas actually, and it was shortlisted for the CBCA Younger Readers last year. Generally I try to get all the shortlisted books read before August, but last year – well – lots of stuff got in the way.
As with many of Hirsch’s books, this one is pure childhood fantasy. The Bell family is cash poor and asset wealthy and they are existing via a very complicated barter system. But every generation the family must produce a give for the town. In the past this gift has been magnificent, a bell tower, statues, or some other landmark. This year there is literally no money so the gift is going to be very, very different. When Darius, the young boy, find a cave and beautiful pool on the estate, he thinks he has found the answer to the problem of the gift. But as always, life doesn’t always go to plan.
This is a gentle, whimsical book. No danger, no thrills, just people being people trying to manage a difficult life. Positivity and generosity is the theme and virtually everybody who appears possesses these qualities in vast amounts. Problems arise, but then are solved with just a little help from friends.
It must be nice to live in Hirsch’s world.