A child’s view of the housing crisis: Home by Amanda Berriman
Home is a moving and hard-hitting novel about a little girl and her family. Jesika is four and lives with her mum and her baby brother Toby in a flat that her mum calls a dump. She’s not allowed to touch the broken window and the scary money man is threatening to evict them. When Toby and her mum’s coughs get worse, Jesika finds herself away from home. All she wants is to be back at home, but her new friend Paige has a secret that Jesika isn’t sure if she should tell.
Told from the point of view of Jesika, the novel immerses the reader in her world and in the stark realities of the housing crisis. It doesn’t take long to get into the book’s style and understand the quirks in the way that a four year old sees the world, including the serious issues that she can’t quite grasp. Berriman uses campaigns and support for Shelter and the NSPCC to highlight real problems, including homelessness and sexual abuse, mixing this with heart and with a memorable protagonist.
With similarities to Kit de Waal’s My Name Is Leon, Emma Donoghue’s Room, and Allie Rogers’ Little Gold, this is a heartbreaking novel that uses a distinctive style and voice to show what children do and don’t understand about their situation and to present the housing crisis in a memorable and real way.