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Me And My Fear

Me And My Fear Me And My Fear Me And My Fear Me And My Fear

Me And My Fear back

Francesca Sanna


Page 45 Review by Stephen

I have always had a secret.
A tiny friend called Fear.

From the creator of THE JOURNEY, one of my go-to Young Readers books for empathy and understanding, specifically about those seeking sanctuary.

As you'd expect, its successor is no less astutely observed or eloquent - and at times hard-hitting - in its communication.

Let's begin again: the grown-ups are nattering away in the shade by the seafront, sipping wine while our narrator explores contentedly, inquisitively a little farther afield.

I have always had a secret.
A tiny friend called Fear.

And Fear is, at this point, ever so tiny, decidedly manageable and really quite cute. It looks like the squidgy Adipose squealers from Doctor Who. And certainly it's still a friend, enabling the young girl to venture a ways from her mum while protecting her from the likes of heights.

A little fear is healthy.

But since we came to this new country,
Fear isn't so little anymore.

At which point I would sincerely and unequivocally like to apologise for the current state of my country, Little England. And, really, the rest of Europe TBH: we all need to be a lot more welcoming to those already disconcerted by the upheaval of travel and separation, not less.

Fear is still tender and loving on that page, but growing all too rapidly and already effectively smothering as something being clung to too tightly. By the next page it is scowling at the autumnal rain (apologies once more, but not a lot we can do about that bit!!!) and has then grown so massive that it blocks off the exits completely.

Ah, and then there's school. Can there be anything more terrifying than a new school?

You can probably see where this is going: too much fear can prove overwhelming, paralysing, and a self-sustaining barrier which doesn't just protect but pushes away others - perhaps equally under siege - who might like to help.

Our young lady is surrounded by potential friends - girls and boys in every sort of colourful winter-wear - enjoying themselves outside of Fear's seemingly soft but intransigent grip. Others are puzzled, concerned, as she struggles....

The secret is that everyone has a little fear; and the solution is to share.

Someone has to make the first move; my hugest hugs to those who do.

Lots of orange and blue, which is brave.

For more heart and humanity for Young Readers, please see THE NEW NEIGHBOURS hardcover or THE NEW NEIGHBOURS softcover; for adults, see THREADS and ESCAPING WARS AND WAVES or - for something far more poetic, and for all - please see YOU BELONG HERE.