Delightful and insightful story from the author of the Violet Mackerel series
Hazel Morrison has a secret habit – pretending to make videos about everyday things. Eight important tips for successfully buttering toast! Putting your hair in a ponytail: a step-by-step guide! But when her family move to the outer suburbs, Hazel has to cope with starting at a new school where she doesn’t exactly feel welcomed. A school project inspires her to create a real video – a how-to guide for being “the new person” . . . because everyone, sometime, will meet one, or be one!
Younger readers who enjoyed the Violet Mackerel books are sure to recognise Hazel because she has a very similar outlook on life and a lovely straightforward manner of sharing her problems
This book, written for young independent readers, deserves to be shared with our students to open up conversations that allow them to share their anxieties, to learn that they are all feeling the same way, and to develop strategies so they can believe in Veronica’s observation that Wherever there are lots of people, there is always at least one nice person. You don’t always find them right away but sooner or later you usually do. And after that, things get easier.
The Bottom Shelf
A special aspect of How to be the new person is the important and protective friendship that develops between Hazel and the old lady next door called Veronica. The message that change is not confined to when you are young but rather is a life-long issue that has to be faced again and again is an important one
It’s no secret — change is scary, even for the bravest of us. When awful things start happening to her sister at school, Hazel must overcome the biggest, scariest, change yet. Being The New Person. How to be the New Person is a story full of empathy and hope. Hazel is a loveable character trying to keep the joy alive for her worried and hurting family. But it’s not easy always being ‘the happy one’… It was a joy to follow Hazel on this journey of learning to be vulnerable and express her own needs. The first-person narrative allows readers to feel Hazel’s struggles and triumphs more deeply, as well as appreciate her unique sense of humour. A lovely detail (without spoiling too much) is the blossoming of friendship between Hazel and Veronica. Kindness speaks across generations, and it’s wonderful to see this explored in the novel. Beautiful things can emerge from what may sometimes look like a pile of rubbish. Overall, a heart-warming middle-grade novel that tackles big themes in an engaging way. Not surprising considering the author is also responsible for the lovely Violet Mackerel books.
This is a fabulously cute, witty and touching story. It is a perfect story for 8-12 year olds. Highly recommended!