This is the first book I’ve read by Cath Howe, and what a relatable and big-hearted story it is.

Ella is the new girl at school and the reason for her move is a big secret. Like many kids navigating the path of life, she’s desperate to be accepted and so when one of the most popular girls starts to notice her, she doesn’t think too deeply about what her new ‘friend’ is asking of her until things get out of hand…

Ella is one of those characters you instinctively want to root for. While it’s clear that she’s going to make mistakes, I think readers will be more interested in how she acknowledges what she has done and whether she has the moral courage to take responsibility for her actions: as we all know, doing the right thing is often the hardest to do. The story addresses this really well and ends on a realistic, positive and uplifting note, emphasising the importance of being true to yourself and not following the pack. It’s a fab read – with a bright, distinctive cover – and will definitely resonate with Key Stage 2 readers who have felt the pressure to either fit in or please a new friend.

Ella on the Outside
Author: Cath Howe
Cover Art: Nicola Theobald
Publisher: Nosy Crow
ISBN: 9781788000338
Paperback: 240 pages

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