Mercy needs to stand up for herself. She also needs a miracle.
Eleven-year-old Mercy lives with her eccentric foster aunts – two elderly sisters so poor they can afford only one lightbulb. A nasty housing developer is eyeing their house, which suddenly starts falling apart – just as Aunt Flora does too. She’s forgetting words, names and even how to behave in public. Mercy tries to keep her head down at school but when a classmate frames her for stealing the school’s raffle money, Mercy’s teachers decide to take a closer look at her home life. With the help of a neighbour, Mr Singh, who teaches Mercy about Gandhi and his principles of passive resistance, Mercy finds a tool that can help solve her problems. But first, like Gandhi, she needs to stand up for herself. She also needs a miracle. And to summon it she has to find her voice and tell the truth – and that truth is neither pure nor simple.
A book that already feels like a classic, Small Mercies holds a strong message for children today. Full of heart, it will shine among the best children’s literature for years to come.
- Mercy is a strong female character from a multiracial background
- Helps to address our need for greater diversity in children’s books
- A brilliant and heartwarming story that portrays life in South Africa today
Bridget Krone lives and works in a village called Hilton just outside Pietermaritzburg, in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. Her office looks onto a field where cows graze in the winter and cranes (both crowned and blue) visit in the summer. She has spent most of her working life writing short novels and English language text books for school children in South Africa. Her favourite stories are those that, just when you expect a lesson, sing a song instead.