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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
35 Kilos of Hope
by Anna Gavalda
Age Range: 12+
Thirteen-year-old Gregory hates school; he has hated it since he was four years
old. Because of his constant bad marks Gregory has been kept in the same class
for two years and he is eventually expelled and there is no other school that is
prepared to accept him. However, Gregory is a really talented boy and his happiest
moments are the ones he spends with his Grandpa Leon in his workshop, helping
him and building things. Grandpa is the only one who seems to understand and
encourage him. It is through his deep relationship with his grandfather that Gregory
is able to find the inspiration that will allow him to overcome his physical and mental fears, when he is finally accepted in a new college.
This is a thought-provoking story that brings to the surface the problem with children like Gregory, who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder and are caught in an educational system that may not always cater to their needs. Anna Gavalda was a teacher for many years and wrote this novel for all those ‘Gregorys’ out there who need to be inspired.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)