The Cedarville Shop and the Wheelbarrow Swap (2022) is published by Catalyst Press (USA). From the award-winning author of Small Mercies, named a Best Middle-Grade Book of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews
“I’ve decided that some people put out fires and leave the world cold and hopeless and others nurse the kindling, blow like mad and fan the flames with whatever they have at hand so that everyone feels its warmth.”
A lot of things can feel just out of reach in 12-year-old Boipelo Seku’s small, impoverished village of Cedarville, South Africa. The idea of one day living in a house that’s big enough for his family is just a faraway dream. But when Boi stumbles on a story about a Canadian man who traded his way from a paperclip to a house, Boi hatches his own trading plan starting with a tiny clay cow he molded from river mud. Trade by trade, Boi and his best friend Potso discover that even though Cedarville lacks so many of the things that made the paperclip trade possible, it is fuller than either of them ever imagined.
In a chain of events that turns Boi’s tiny spark into a warming fire, Boi learns the power of friendship and community, and finds that something’s value isn’t in what you can trade for it, but in the good it brings to the people you love.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Star Selection
“Bridget Krone has crafted a loving, funny story about a vibrant South African community where Boi’s bold dream of a big swap goes in all kinds of unexpected directions. When the threads are knit back together, they become a hymn of kindness and joy.” — Jane Kurtz, author and winner of the 2022 IBBY-IREAD Outstanding Reading Promoter Award
“In this humorous, optimistic tale, Krone explores the mutability of friendships and the perils of trying to hold on to them too strongly. […] A compelling look at friendship and community uplift under harsh circumstances.” —Kirkus
“This novel is an engaging read with a satisfying ending … the theme of grace ties everything together: when all seems an impossible knot, if one keeps looking and persevering, the secret to untangling might click into view—a timely message for our world.” —Africa Access Review
BRIDGET KRONE is the author of two novels for children: Small Mercies (2020) and The Cedarville Shop and the Wheelbarrow Swap (September 2022). Small Mercies is the recipient of a 2022 Stepping Stones Honor Award, listed on the 2021 Outstanding International Books List by the US Board on Books for Young People, and Kirkus Reviews named it a Best Middle-Grade Book of 2020. Formerly an English teacher, Bridget currently works as a writer of English textbooks for South African schools, and writes novels between textbook commissions. She lives in Hilton and is married with two grown-up sons.
KIM WARD lives in Hilton, but tries to get away to the Drakensberg mountains as often as possible to hike and camp with her husband. When she is home, she looks after her two sons and two sausage dogs and is a proofreader and editor. She received her English Honours at UKZN, her Masters in Environmental Education from Rhodes University, and worked for WESSA as the Eco-Schools co-ordinator for 10 years. She was part of the organising team of the Midlands Literary Festival in 2019 and 2020 and loves interacting with authors and reading books.
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