Tales from Our Living Room: The Children’s Isolation Book Project written by The Children of Hampshire, edited and compiled by Juliette Jones.
reviewed by Chris Richards.
2020 has brought the words ‘uncertainty’ and ‘unprecedented’ into daily conversation and if you don’t hear at least one of these in a 24-hour period then you’re taking isolation to Olympian levels. Tales from Our Living Room is a compilation of 14 original short stories written and occasionally illustrated by authors aged between six and eleven years old.
The call for submissions was sounded by Juliette Jones, an independent publisher and habitual home-schooling parent, based in Southampton, who back in the depths of the national lockdown and school closures decided to take the opportunity to collate the efforts of children displaced from their normal day to day routines, friends, and outlets. These wonderful stories capture moments of inspiration and creativity that may have normally been passed by or unnoticed. In this charming volume we share in the vibrant imaginings of primary school aged kids living in some of the most difficult times the entire world has seen in living memory.
Each story is a wonderful example of the authors’ individual creativity. This isn’t a collection of stories by people yearning for a life outside the house, it’s an exploration of wondrous landscapes, hilarious twists, and on one occasion “Death Island”. All of the stories are a joy to read, but notable examples include Bella Deacon’s ‘Agents to the Rescue’ a story full of vivid action and characters which made me want more. ‘Ella in the Enchanted Forest’ by Gracie Lee Carter is bursting with beautiful landscapes and touches of Lewis Carroll. Finally, Chloé Sadler-Abert’s ‘Fanny the Farter’ is a story which had me laughing from start to finish.
100% of the profits will be donated to Reading Force, a charity devoted to maintaining family ties and regular contact through sharing scrapbooks and stories, while at home and during times away serving in the Forces. Information on all work and the amazing results can be found at their website readingforce.org.uk. So every purchase of this unique and wonderful book will be directly improving literacy and lightening the strain on families separated for long periods while parents work in the Forces.
Published by Juliette Jones Editorial Services. Pre-order your copy now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and available for £8 from 31st October 2020 via Amazon and juliettejones.co.uk.