A friendship that knows no bounds, confronting fears head on, living life to the fullest in the face of adversity and two tweens navigating the trials and tribulations of life with courage, grace, resilience and a sense of adventure are some of the moving themes in August and Jones by Pip Harry. This story, inspired by the friendship of two children who live in Victoria is told through two voices, Jones who is confident, adventurous and has recently moved from her beloved farm to Sydney. She has a prosthetic eye as she lost her left eye to cancer when she was a toddler. Then there is August who is empathetic, cautious, afraid of heights, is bullied at school and reluctantly plays football as he feels it is the only way his father, a football coach, will be proud of him. His mother is showing signs of depression as her dream of owning a healthy café has failed and his parent’s relationship is strained to the point of his father moving out. August and Jones, while they are opposite in their personalities make a formidable team as they introduce each other to new things, ideas and ways to approach life.

After successive years of drought, life on the farm is no longer financially viable for Jones and her family. They move from their property to a small apartment in Sydney where Jones’ Dad is able to secure employment with his brother. This is a massive change for the family and each of them navigates it in their own unique way.

August is nominated by his teacher to be a buddy for Jones and so begins a true friendship and an unbreakable bond.

Jones begins to feel a deterioration of vision in her remaining eye and receives a diagnosis that the cancer has returned. In the face of this life changing and devastating news, August and Jones formulate a must-see bucket list and support each with heart and humour other to achieve it.

Pip Harry has meticulously researched this book to ensure the medical detail and experience with blindness is accurate.

This is a story that highlights the power and beauty of a strong friendship. Hope, courage and humour sensitively balance the heavy themes and empower the reader to believe that anything is possible no matter what life throws at you.

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