Bea’s father’s job means the family has moved repeatedly; this will be her fifth new school in five years. While she might seem impervious, to the change, she’s finding it harder than ever. It means that she does not seek friendship and thereafter gathers taunts and bullying as her separateness is noticed.

Meanwhile, Yutu is desperate to break down the restrictions of his traditional way of life. While he loves his grandmother’s silences and steady knowledge, he feels it is time to seal hunt, at least. Then again, he’s aware of the rub against traditional ways and the effects of creeping industrialisation, not least in the way the landscape has changed.

How Yutu and Bea meet is entirely unexpected and devastating. Thereafter how they bond, from survival, truth- seeking, escape, rescue and a deep respect, is thoughtfully shown, inferred and realised.

Bookwagon loves Ele Fountain’s respectful, urgent, relevant books, from Boy 87 to Lost We are overjoyed to welcome Melt aboard and recommend it highly to all our middle grade readers.

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Ele Fountain


Yutu’s grandmother is aware of the Melt. Yet is seems that she’s aware of so much about him, too, and then the place in which they live. She would say it’s because she’s learned ‘the old ways‘, the ways of their people, the seasons and their home. Yet Yutu longs to escape this Arctic desolation. He’s tired of waiting and longs to break free. It seems that he’d rather hunt seals than learn bone carving, or to ‘dress in traditional costume and drum whoever there some kind of ceremony’.
Meanwhile, Bea is fragile with the anxiety of another new school. While she appears resilient to the pressures, curiosity and taunts, she is wary of continual changes. It seems that she’s only relaxed when she’s with Hester, her cat, or flying with her father.
How these two major characters coincide in a hostile environment is accidental. Thereafter, how they support each other, through ice, pursuit and then the complete unknown, is brave and strong. What’s more, it seems that Bea has a lot to learn from Yutu, and then his grandmother. Then again, they both need to piece together the story of what is going on with Bea’s father and the men who claim he is a criminal.
Melt is set within a landscape such as we feel protective and anxious, justifiably. Like Boy 87 and Lost, Ele Fountain creates a setting that penetrates every pore of her story. It means that we feel completely involved, desperate for Bea and Yutu’s safety and recognition and thereafter, their future.


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