Zola is trying hard to be more responsible and to make the right choices and she and her Nonna are enjoying spending time together at the St. Odo’s community garden project. Zola’s trouble-free life is going well until her inquisitive nature gets the better of her.
The new neighbours next door are private people and Zola doesn’t know much about them except there are people named Bianca, Omar and someone called Teta who likes knitting. Knowing that her Nonna loves knitting, but isn’t too skilled at it, Zola would love for Nonna to meet Teta but can’t think of a way to get her family to meet the neighbours. But sometimes the unexpected happens and events happen that not even the best plans could have foreseen.
What Zola did on Tuesday is a wonderful celebration of family, friendship and community. Zola learns at school about empathy and kindness to others and I like that the teacher tells the children that not everyone is fortunate enough to have their basic needs met. Melina Marchetta tells of the world the way it is rather than a sugar-coated and perfect world.
The story is filled with warmth, charm and gentle humour. Zola is such a loveable and relatable character. She loves adventures but can not help getting into a little spot of bother. In addition to the delightful story there are important messages on refugees and the difficulties in moving to a new country. Multicultural references are seamlessly woven into the narrative and I loved that even though the two older relatives couldn’t communicate with each other due to a language barrier they bond over a shared passion.
Deb Hudson’s black and white illustrations are a wonderful compliment to the narrative and feature on almost every double page making the read inviting and not text heavy for new readers of chapter books.
Recommended for 5+.