Bauble, Me and the Family Tree by Jenny Moore Review

A heart-warming and funny story around grief and family dynamics

Family Tree

Reading is something that every child should – there is so much more to books that just reading a story. Books and reading can help young readers find out more about the world we live in, help them understand empathy and help them relate to and deal with situations that may happen, or have already happened, in their own lives. Bauble, Me and the Family Tree, by Jenny Moore, is one such book that deals with a difficult subject – it is the touching story of bereavement and how young children cope and deal with it.

Noel is used to his unusual family set-up: him, Mum, super-brainy little sister Bauble, and his gay uncles (both called Mike) next door. But when Bauble spots Mum kissing Santa Claus—in August—everything Noel thought he knew about his family is turned upside-down.

Who’s the mysterious ‘F’ sending Mum romantic postcards?

Why has she started taking weird photos of people in food bikinis?

And, even though he’s clearly not Santa, might Dad still be alive after all?

Ten year old Noel and his seven year old sister Bauble (she is actually called Holly) live at home with their mother, with support from their uncles that live next door. Their father died before Bauble was born and they are still not over the loss. They are desperate for a father and when Bauble spies their mother kissing Santa Claus below a wishing bow they start to think that their dreams might just be about to come true. They start to believe that their father might not really be dead and is actually coming home. This sets them off onto an investigation into the mysterious situation and delves into the realms of grief, relationships, family dynamics and honesty.

Overall, Bauble, Me and the Family Tree is an excellent family drama with a mystery story combined. An emotional story about the crushing effects of death and how children deal with it but also a story that adds in gentle humour along the way so that young readers will not find it hard to read. A very touching story that deals with some quite difficult topics but has been written very well and is suitable for its intended junior audience. It sensitively and skilfully handles the issues surrounding death and grief and young readers get to think about the challenging issues that arise in families due to bereavement.

It shows the devastating effects that grief can have on children and how they handle it whilst at the same time dealing with how keeping secrets really doesn’t help, even when the purpose is to protect others and done with the very best of intentions.

Bauble, Me and the Family Tree deals with some very emotive subjects and may be a hard and heartfelt read for some (especially if they have lost a loved one). It skilfully balances out the darkness of grief with some light-hearted humour and creates a story that children will enjoy reading especially when trying to solve the mysteries of the photos of people in their bikinis with food on their heads or around their necks and a five-legged race!

It is written from the point of view of ten year old Noel for the benefit of young readers so that they can understand what he is going through. It creates a story from a perspective that children will be able to relate to and hopefully help them deal with grief and the change in their own family dynamics.

Bauble, Me and the Family Tree is a profound and emotive story of grief, love, honesty and how families come in all different shapes, sizes and configurations. Whilst it deals with a difficult subject, it is done so with expert ease by Jenny Moore and children will enjoy reading it.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £6.99 (paperback)

For more information, visit Maverick Books. Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.
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