Amanda Addison on Looking for Lucie and books about family for early teens

Looking for Lucie by Amanda Addison. Book cover and author photo.
This month we are delighted to be sharing with our Macaw subscribers a thrilling new novel with a real world setting, an intriguing family mystery and an important message about identity and self-discovery. Looking for Lucie by Amanda Addison is a heart-warming contemporary YA novel that is perfect for early teens and an easy pick for our Macaw boxes. We are thrilled that Amanda agreed to tell us more about what inspired the story and which other novels for teens that explore family and friendship she recommends you read next.

What inspired you to write Looking for Lucie?

I was inspired by both my own DNA test and the story of others. Additionally, the question, Where are you really from? often followed by, yes, but where are you really from? is so often asked to people with brown skin that it creates a sense of otherness. Many authors and/or their characters often have a feeling of being ‘outsiders’ or ‘other’ and this can give you an advantage when writing a story.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

This is such a tricky question! On the surface Lucie, our protagonist, is the most relatable as I am mixed race and studied art at a London art school. However, she is much younger than me!

But…all the characters have a little bit of me, bits of people I know, and a large dose of imagination!

We were really struck by the relationship between art and science in the book. Is there a particular message there you hope the reader will take away from the story?

I increasingly think that artists and scientists are very similar in their approach. They are both curious and forever asking questions about the world around us. I would like readers to consider how their approach is just two sides to the same coin. I would like schools to find more inventive and creative ways of teaching art and science so that young people can follow their curiosity.

Would you say that Lucie ultimately finds the answers she is looking for?

Yes, and no! Without giving away any plot spoilers I would say that their families are constantly evolving.

Can you tell us anything about what the future holds for Lucie and her family?

We know from the dates in the book that the setting is pre pandemic. I would like to imagine that this brings them closer. Also, their creative and inventive thinking could help get them through.

Why did you choose to write books for this age group?

I never choose to write for a particular age group! I have stories circling in my head that want to be told. Once they begin to take form the age group comes into focus. However, I like to think that a good book for young people is a great read for adults too!

Do you have a favourite place to write?

I have a very small study where I write regularly. However, my all-time favourite place to write is on the train. There is something about being on the move, yet away from distractions for a few hours, which creates the perfect writing environment.

Which other family dramas for tweens and teens would you recommend our subscribers read next?

I loved reading Norah’s Ark, by Victoria Williamson. It is one of those great books for young people which is also eminently readable for adults too! The contrast of the two families: one living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation and the other in a beautiful house, shines a light on contemporary society. It also explores the love of the natural world, a topic close to my heart. It tackles challenging issues, but is always a character led narrative, resulting in a pacey and tense read.

One of my favourite all time teen titles is Nicola Yoon’s, The Sun is also a Star. It cleverly interweaves so many cultural insights through two wonderful key protagonists and a chance encounter in New York city.

Copies of our Looking for Lucie pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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