Here it is: Ellie Booton’s Journal No. 3. Here’s how it came to be. At the bottom of this page, there’s a Sky News film which, if you watch it, will change your life.
When I first started writing Ellie’s Journal, No. 1, she was 11 years old. She’d come to live at Grandma’s house, following her granddad’s death. It was a tough transition: new home, school, family dynamic and needing new friends. Her voice is spirited, brave, and a little naive. It was a time of challenge and triumph and a steep learning curve set against a backdrop of rough seas and weather.
Strong characters emerge: Cooper, a boy who internalizes struggle and acts on instinct. Elsie, who has her own way of protecting people. Juna, who creeps around like a shadow, waiting for someone to discover she’s real. Gilby, whose surface behaviour is only the tip of the iceberg. And Ellie, who insightfully records and analyses life through her journal.
The Abandoned Rule Book, Journal 3
*Royalties to Congo Children Trust, who run the sanctuary Kimbilio in Lubumbashi, DR Congo*
It’s summer again. School’s out and the holiday promises to to be a seriously chilled time. Ellie is twelve years old and struggling with the pain of growing up. Her journal shows how life can change in an instant and leads her to ask, how much control do we really have over our lives? Grandma puts a positive spin on this wind of change. Ellie sees it as a force disrupting relationships. There’s mystery as Ellie seems to slip into an alternate universe, where the people she relies on blow away. Then – a ferocious storm changes everything.
If you buy The Abandoned Rule Book – THANK YOU so much – the royalties will go straight to Kimbilio. We are building a school, work is underway and we are making great progress. Every £7 we raise buys 500 bricks.
Education gives children choices. That’s what we are striving to give them.
You can buy The Abandoned Rule Book here: Flinty Maguire books
The Abandoned Rule Book was in the pipeline for too long. It got put on the back burner – we moved home from inland to coast. I still work as an editor, but life settled into a different pattern. It was important to finish the book, so I cracked on. This book is not for me. It’s for Kimbilio, run by Congo Children Trust, a children’s sanctuary in DR Congo, which I became involved with by accident after I saw the Sky News film, below. I was so affected by it that I searched for a rescue partner and found Ian Harvey, founder of the small, wonderful charity Congo Children Trust. Important fact: no one working for the charity in the UK is paid. We are all volunteers. Ian and I persuaded the Sky News team to go back and offer help to the two children featured in the film. They did. The boys, Richard and Dorsen, are now safe at Kimbilio and we support them – but there are thousands of children who are desperate and need our help.
Sky News reporter, Alex Crawford:
“We need to be holding huge corporations who make billions of pounds and dollars every year from selling these items – we need to be asking, ‘Do you know how you’re making these billions of pounds – and if you don’t know – why don’t you know? And if you do know, why aren’t you doing something about it?'”