Lizzie Zipmouth ISBN: 9780552546539
Published by Young Corgi, 2000
Lizzie is very happy living with mum in their pokey little flat, and when mum announces they are moving into Sam's house, along with Sam's two boys, Rory and Jake, she is less than pleased. Lizzie's experience with stepfathers is a nasty one. Step-dad number one was violent (real dad disappeared years ago), and Lizzie is sure Sam will run true to form. Her rebellion takes the form of voluntary muteness. Lizzie is unwilling (or unable) to admit that Sam is actually quite nice, and the boys try to be friendly too. When she meets their strict, unbending Great-Gran, who collects dolls, she finds a kindred spirit, and it is Great-Gran who knows how to handle Lizzie and get her talking again. When Great-Gran has a stroke, Lizzie returns the favour and helps her regain her speech. A great deal is packed into the 79 pages of this short book, all of it from Lizzie's point of view. Much is implied rather than made specific - one of the strengths of Wilson's style. A super, sensitive read, enhanced by Sharratt's marvelous illustrations.