Monday, 20 February 2023

Blog tour: It Happened on Saturday by Sydney Dunlap

Thirteen-year-old Julia would much rather work with horses at the rescue barn than worry about things like dating and makeup. But when her BFF meets a boy at camp, Julia’s determined not to get left behind. After a makeover from her older sister, she posts a picture of herself online and gets a comment from Tyler—a seemingly nice kid who lives across town. As they DM more and more, Julia’s sure that Tyler understands her in a way her family never has. Even better, their relationship earns her tons of attention at school.

Then Julia finds out Tyler’s true plan, and her world is turned upside down. She fiercely guards her secret, but could her silence allow her friends to fall into the same trap?

In this timely, heartfelt debut, author Sydney Dunlap tells a story of a middle-school girl who narrowly escapes becoming a victim of human trafficking and must find her way toward hope and healing after this traumatic event.

This is such a difficult one, it's hard to know how to review! Not because it's not well written - it's very well written - but because the topic is such a difficult one. It's horrifying to think that we need our kids to be aware of things like this.

Julia reads like a thirteen year old, unlike some novel characters who seem far too old. Her problems are teenage problems, overwhelming to her and recognisable to any teenage reader. From outside the story, it's easy to see just how skilled Tyler was at manipulating her, even down to 'accidentally' being unable to meet up with her friends.

It's tough to think that our kids need to know about this, but if they do, at least we have amazing books like this one to teach them. This deserves a place in every classroom and on every bookshelf. Fantastic.

It Happened on Saturday publishes on the 21st February, 2023. I received a free copy and am giving an honest review. See below for more information about the book!

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About the Author:
Sydney Dunlap is a former elementary school teacher who has worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings, and she enjoys reading and writing heartfelt, hopeful fiction that expands young readers’ awareness of tough topics. She is a published poet and has also written for a newspaper. A lifelong animal lover, Sydney lives with her family in a home where the dogs and cats outnumber the people.

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