If, like me, you're always on the look-out for a new novel that will make your children think and feel - and is equally rewarding for you to read aloud - I must recommend Roddy Doyle's new book A Greyhound of a Girl.
What a joy sharing this book with my eight-year-old has been.
Not only am I reminded what a good writer Doyle is - evocative, elegiac, thoughtful and funny - but the story has given my daughter great food for thought. So often adults are presented as unhip losers or disengaged workaholics by writers desperate to impress sneery teens, but here Doyle makes the past so fascinating, full of juicy secrets and romantic thrills, that the longer a character has lived the more compelling they are.
He also brings home the sadness of passing time, and all that is lost as we rush through it in a way even a child, just starting the process, can understand. Brilliant stuff.