I really, truly loved Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham. There is much to love about this book, with it's wonderful characters, it's emotional storylines involving both bullying and connecting with estranged family members and also about a girl writing a book about her experiences with figuring out who she is. It's a story told with lots of humour and heart and I loved every page of it.
Claire Weeks is a having a bit of a rough time of it lately. Her best friend has upped and moved away leaving her to the mercy of mean girls at school who make fun of her because of her limp. Her mum and step-dad don't really understand or listen to her and her little brothers are only 7. But when an unexpected birthday card arrives from her real father, who abandoned her and her mum when Claire was little, everything changes. Suddenly, Claire is faced with lots of new developments - a father she never knew and the knowledge that she was once called Cherokee Brown. And with that name seems to spark the hope of a brand new identity. Claire can choose to be better, cooler, stronger as Cherokee together with the support of her musician father and his young boarder, Harrison.
I thought Cherokee's relationship with her father was very sweetly
written. There's a lot of doubt throughout if he'd really stick around
this time and be the kind of dad that Cherokee needed and I'm happy with
the events that did occur! I loved seeing Cherokee change over the course of this novel. The structure of the book is wrapped around this creative writing book that Cherokee has found to help her write the story of her life. There are character interviews and plenty of advice on writing an interesting story that really seem to relate well to the dramas that happen in Cherokee's actual life. This emphasis on writing was really good, especially as it really seemed to benefit Cherokee as she was going through some confusing times.
At the start of Finding Cherokee Brown, you can really tell that Claire is a bit knocked down by the bullying she receives at school, her loneliness without a friend. And slowly, you can see how Cherokee begins to assert herself more, her confidence is boosted and she is finally able to stand up to her bullies in a really amazing way that had me fist-pump in celebration!
What a wonderful book this is! I happily recommend it!