Synopsis – Cherry was desperate to create a necklace from pink cowrie shells. It had taken her days of careful work, and she was desperate to make it the longest ever. She only had a day left to finish her necklace, and set off on her own to search for more shells. Before she realised, a storm was rolling in, and she was cut off from the shore. It begins to take a dark turn, there was no turning back.
My thoughts – We read this book during University, and we read it over 3 lessons, and we predicted what we think might happen next, which increased the tension. This book is quite dark, and may not be appropriate for some children. The book ends in a very different way to how you might expect it to. The book is very well written and you want to carry on reading to see what happens to Cherry. Cherry is a very determined and persistent character at the start of the book, wanting to finish the necklace before she returns home.
Classroom ideas – You could use the book to teach water safety, you could have guests in to talk to them about water safety or take them to the local swimming pool. You could ask children to predict what might happen, as the book could go in many different directions, the children could write what they think might happen. The children could consider how Cherry’s family may feel at different points of the book, you could explore this through freeze frames. You could look at Cherry in detail, and write a diary entry as Cherry, describing how she might be feeling at different points in the story. The children could write a newspaper article about what happens.