Bonjour Lucy Bee

Bonjour Lucy Bee

Anne Ingram

Lucy has travelled to France for a family reunion with her French relatives. On the way to her aunt’s small hotel, she sees a line of refugees on the road. Lucy’s older cousin, Celeste, makes it clear she is anti-refugee and when there is a burglary at the chateau she blames the refugees. Soon after, on a walk with Beau, the family dog, Lucy discovers Qasim, a young Afghan refugee in hiding. He has a broken ankle and a high fever. What is Lucy to do? She can’t take him home. But she can’t leave him there either. She puts a plan in place and ropes in her other cousins to help. The burglaries continue and as Lucy and her cousins travel along the canals, danger stalks close behind and Lucy is tested to the extreme.
NZ$ 20.00
ISBN -978-0-9951067-0-3
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I was inspired to write this novel while on our canal boat in France. It was summer, the countryside was beautiful, the local people friendly, tourists were thronging the historical hot spots, and all seemed well with the world. But when we stopped at some of the canal ports, we sometimes saw small clusters of young men, many in their teens. They looked lost, bereft, even hungry. They were refugees driven out of their own, largely war-torn countries, and desperate to find a safe haven. Sometimes they were welcomed, sometimes they were not. Even the French families we knew had different views about them. I wanted to explore what might happen if one of them unexpectedly landed virtually on the doorstep, needing care. And what Lucy, from far away New Zealand, would do.

The story cracks along at a fast pace, with plenty of action, intrigue and mystery to keep readers turning the page. The author has created a cast of wonderful dynamic characters. Lucy is strong, compassionate and full of empathy. She takes on challenges and isn’t afraid to push boundaries or stand up for what she believes in. Rebekah Fraser, NZ Booklovers.

French phrases throughout coupled with the descriptive scene setting has you feeling you are right there with Lucy. The plight of the refugees is handled well; there is no heavy lecturing, instead we are shown the human face of this global issue. There is plenty of action and a good resolution. Well written, it is a thoroughly good read. Vanessa Hadley-Owen – KIDSBOOKSNZ

The author wastes no time in plunging Lucy into an adventure. Ingram has skilfully presented the emotions of a morally engaged girl confronted with unfamiliar cultural values. A very well written narrative focussing on the ability of children to see a moral surety where adults so often cannot. I think deep-thinking teens in particular will enjoy it. Sarah Forster – The Sapling

The book gently tackles the topic of prejudice, tolerance and the current European refugee crisis. The easy way this is written genuinely asks the reader what they would do in a similar situation. There is nothing overtly political in this book; only the truth about human relationships, identity and empathy. Melissa Spark – Magpies magazine.

A rich and intelligent book designed to capture a young reader’s imagination. A pacey adventure story into which is woven a contemporary conundrum that challenges Lucy’s innate New Zealand sense of justice and fair play. Young readers will be hoping at every turn of the page that she makes the right choices. Ann David – Goodreads