The Letter With The Golden Stamp by Onjali Q Rauf

Engaging & Heartfelt

The Letter With The Golden Stamp by Onjali Q Rauf is a powerful contemporary children’s novel. It is perfect for ages ten years and over. Whatever your age, this book will leave you full of admiration for the lead character nine year old Audrey.

The book is about a single parent family in Swansea. The mother is often bed-ridden with osteoarthritis, leaving Audrey to run the house, looking after her four year old twin siblings and mother who has more bad days than good. “Some days we used to have what Mam calls a Sunshine Day. That’s when her bones feel like there’s a strong bit of sun heating them all up, and she’s not in too much pain, and I can go to school without worrying.” Audrey continually worries that if the authorities know, then she and her siblings will be taken away. Audrey feels isolated as she cannot confide in anyone.

Just occasionally Audrey does ‘normal’ things. “I felt normal. Like I was doing something everyone else got to do every day but I never usually did.” Audrey worries, so her Mam doesn’t have to. “I have to make sure Mam doesn’t worry about things too much.”

Audrey searches for her Tad, believing that he could fix things for her. This search leads her to take drastic action.

The street is very much community-minded, led by postman Mo. He is an unsung hero, working behind the scenes.

The book is written in the first person from the point of view of Audrey. We get to know her intimately. She is very likable. She does what she does in order to support her family. She has a conscience and a kind heart.

I absolutely adored The Letter With The Golden Stamp. I think it should be part of the English curriculum. It would enable children to see that others have very different lives. It will make children think as they empathise with Audrey.

This is a very engaging and heartfelt read.


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