March 2017, Orion Children's Books, 208 Pages, Paperback, Personal copy,
Pink-haired Finch Field has always felt different. She dreams of flying - not in a plane, but swimming through the sky like a bird. Her classmates laugh, and call her Dream Bird. But when Finch goes to stay with her beloved Granny Field for the summer, she finds herself face-to-face with a monster intent on stealing people's dreams. Finch must find a way to believe her own dreams can come true if she is to save the dreams of everyone in Sunview on Sea.
I won this on a Twitter competition Maudie held. I was not thinking straight because somehow I thought it was a picture book and was super excited to see more pictures of Finch with pink hair. When I got it I smiled at my mistake - I love middle grade books so didn't mind it was for an older audience.
I loved how idyllic Finch's grandmother's town is, how happy everyone is until the mysterious cloud appears. I liked that Finch's parents were archaeologists, and they named her after a bird. Through her at times perilous adventure Finch identifies what she wants to change about herself, which is important as we all have something to work on. She is a sweet, generous child, understandably wary of the strange boy who possibly mocks her like her classmates do. She likes hearing people's dreams, which is why it’s sad when they are dream-napped. I feel that how the people react to that depicts both depression and dementia, whether or not this was consciously intended to be interpreted that way.
The only reason I can't give this full marks is a personal one: I'm scared of both the cloud monster and another character. I get freaked out easy by weird and wonderful things, and the latter had me skipping paragraphs to avoid then. The problem with having a highly active imagination is that once imagined I can't unsee weird & wonderful characters. Although just realised saying wonderful doesn't make sense, since they aren't wonderful to me, but it's simply the phrase that entered my head.
I will always remember Finch's story, but because I dislike some characters I won't be rereading it, despite loving Finch and her granny to bits. It will find a home in a local primary school instead!
Find out more on Maudie's website.
Another magical read which is a bit less scary is How To Catch A Witch by Abie Longstaff (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)