Needle by Patrice Lawrence

Wow! Andy Gellenberg, the illustrator, has truly encapsulated the essence of Patrice Lawrence’s book, Needle, on the cover. It’s a powerful book that is riddled with dichotomy. Needle publishes on the 5th May 2022 from Barrington Stoke.

Barrington Stoke Publishers

Barrington Stoke produce books designed to make reading accessible to all through their specially designed, dyslexia friendly font and coloured pages. They are renowned for Hi-Lo books – high interest – low ability making them perfect for all.

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Needle Synopsis

Charlene is a 15 year old back girl who has been taken into the care system following the death of her mother.

Her younger sister Kandi goes to live with her Dad. We learn that Charlene has taken care of her little sister since she was born and there is a real maternal bond on the part of Charlene towards her sister, yet the two are not allowed to see each other.

Charlene is a voracious knitter and she both displays her emotions through her knitting but at times self soothes with the rhythmic action of the needles. Her foster brother is cruel and damages something very important to Charlene and her retaliation is serious, shocking and could change the course of her future forever. There is kindness shown from some whom Charlene interacts with yet others in contrast are hard and distrusting.

Sorry, Not Sorry!

Saying sorry is a trigger for Charlene and she’s certainly not about to say sorry just to make life easier for anyone including herself. There’s only one person she wants to say sorry to and she fears she may not get the opportunity.

Needle – Highly Recommended

This book has you absolutely rooting for Charlene. You want to yell at the people who don’t see what is happening to notice, you want to right the wrongs of her past, you want to be able to tell her it will be ok. You feel helpless and angry throughout the book and at times completely overwhelmed. There’s glimmers of hope that keep you going. It’s raw and gritty and brilliant. I highly recommend.

Thank you #NetGalley and #BarringtonStoke for this incredible eARC of #Needle.

Further Opportunities

Different Perspectives

I feel this text would be a brilliant one to explore the perspectives of other characters within the story. Hot seating would be a great way to develop the narrative of other characters and understand their thoughts and possible motives.

We don’t get the opportunity in Needle to hear Kandi’s story from her viewpoint. A great writing prompt would be to write Kandi’s parallel story and explore her feelings on her mother’s passing and being separated from Charlene. How did she feel when Charlene turned up in her garden with her friends there?


This book really does make you want to pick up some knitting needles. The way Charlene describes her almost meditative state whilst knitting has certainly got to appeal.

For me I love crochet and Needle certainly made me want to grab my hook and get back into the rhythm of crochet.

Creative hobbies are an excellent outlet for stress and to help relieve anxiety. Would be lovely to gift this book Needle with a little creative knitting or crochet parcel or even a workshop. My Nan taught me to knit and I learnt to crochet on a Toft course.

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