A Drop of Golden Sun


Jenny plans to use the money she earns from appearing in The Music Makers on a colour television. It seems that Belinda has one in her bedroom. However, Jenny finds Belinda’s boasting aggravating. Will this change?

It’s 1973. Jenny’s won a role as Berthe Daudet, one of four children, in a big Hollywood movie. The whole experience is a complete shock to Jenny and her mother. After all, wasn’t Jenny just tap-dancing in her school production? However, before long she’s in France, building friendships with her ‘family’. What’s more, she’s growing up; seeing her mother anew, taking pride in her kindness. Then again, she’s understanding the pressures upon the adults in the group, from her big movie star Daudet parents, to the families of John, Harriet- and Belinda.

Kate Saunders creates her 1970’s setting so truthfully. Then again, we tread nervous boards with Jenny too, recognising her lack of confidence and then how much joy she takes in the opportunities ahead of her. Bookwagon loves and recommends A Drop of Golden Sun to our middle grade readers.

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A Drop of Golden Sun

Kate Saunders

(Faber & Faber)

Jenny’s stunned when her performance in the school play results in her winning a role as Berthe in a Hollywood movie! It seems she’ll be one of four children in The Music Makers. What’s more she’ll be working with big movie stars, and filming in France! However, Jenny’s not very confident, and it seems the other children have more screen and stage experience than her. Then again, filming in France is a chance of a lifetime. It will mean spending time with Mum, who’ll take time off work.
Readers join Jenny, Belinda, John and Harriet in rehearsing and filming. We watch Jenny blossom, like A Drop of Golden Sun, forge friendships, find her feet (and her cycle seat). Meanwhile, we watch the intrigue behind scenes, including amongst the adults.
Kate Saunders is a flawless writer. Just think of her novels, including, We fall into Jenny’s 1970’s world of smuggled sweets and classic novels. Then again, we linger upon her growing confidence, her enjoyment of her co-stars and then her appreciation of her mother. This is a really emotionally aware novel, rare amongst current children’s literature. Then again, titles set in Britain’s late twentieth century are few and far between; just think of The Week at World’s End
Will The Music Makers be a hit? There are wobbles along the way, from the appearance of Harriet’s father, to Belinda’s mother’s behaviour. Then there’s the great cinema star, Poldoni. Can anyone cajole this curmudgeon into behaving and working cooperatively? Bookwagon loves and recommends A Drop of Golden Sun to all our middle grade readers.


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