Parker Grant is nearly 16 years old and was blinded at age 7 years in a car accident that killed her mother. At 15 years old she found her father dead in bed and now she lives in the family home with her aunt Celia and two cousins.
When Parker was 13 years she began a kissing relationship with Scott, a boy she had known for ever but an incident destroyed the relationship and neither of them has gotten over it. 2 years later the two high schools in the town in which Parker lives, merge, throwing Scott and Parker back into each others company. if you want to know what happens you will have to read the novel and let me tell you, you will not regret it.
Parker is very testy. She copes brilliantly with her blindness, is very independent but resents being treated as the blind girl. She runs alone every morning, having counted steps and distance not only in her home but to and from school and even to the mall. Her personality is sharp and edgy to the astonishment and often resentment to those around her.
Parker needs to change and she needs to get over the death of her father and her once relationship with Scott. She needs to grieve, she needs to forgive and in the words of Elsa and Anna she needs to Let it Go. This is what gives the novel power and momentum. The dialogue is real. witty, sharp, amusing and straight to the heart of the matter.
I liked Parker but boy I would never treat her like a blind person.
This is a school story and also a girly story. Eric Lindstrom has got the female relationships spot on. How a man did this so well has got me stunned, I would like to shake his hand and say “well done mate”. It’s the deep analysis that girls put into everything that fascinated me and I derived some insight from reading this book.
High school students will get into this novel especially girls but I can’t see the forwards from the First 15 from Boy’s High picking it up, although they should.
There needed to be a positive ending to this story of the Pilgrim Family that started with I am Not Esther and continued with I am Rebecca and this is it.
Caleb and Naomi Pilgrim had 8 children and brought them up in the Children of the Faith religious Community headed by the despotic Elder Stephen. Their lives were dictated to by The Rule which Elder Stephen said was the word of god told through him. Chortle if you want.
The Rule rankled with all the Pilgrim children and divided their parents as it restricted freedom of choice and was an infringement on basic human rights particularly for girls and those who wanted to be educated. The Rule also proclaimed all who left the Faith to be dead and those who opposed the Rule would be damned and their mortal soul condemned in hell.
Needless to say the children were scared out of their wits but none more so than 12 year old Magdalene. She feels the pressure of the expulsion of brothe Daniel, sisters Miriam, Rebecca and cousin Esther real name Kirby. Now brothers Abraham and Luke are criticising The Rule but of greater concern is younger sister 7 year old Zillah who is a firebrand. Zillah says what she likes and tells Magdalene that she will run away and pleads for Magdalene to come with her. Will this happen? You will have to read the novel to find out.
Superbly written by Fleur Beale who keeps the tension on for the whole novel. Watching a family disintegrate is disturbing but the ending will bring tears to your eyes.
For readers of all ages from primary to high school. You will not forget this novel in a hurry. I do not often mention the cover of a novel but this one is superb.
This Guardian Prize winner 2015 for Young Adults is outstanding. It is a novel about art. Literally.
Iris is 14 years old and she has never consciously met her father who is now dieing of cancer. His name is Ernest and he has made a fortune dealing in art of all the great painters. Now on his death bed Ernest invites Iris, her mother Hannah and her partner Howell, to his estate for the last days.
There is a lot of time to make up and a lot of surprises.
The outstanding feature of the novel is the characterisations. Iris is very bright but she doesn’t look in the mirror and see somebody she doesn’t like. She is tomboyish and has a best friend in 17 year old Thurston. He has the imagination and character to be great he just doesn’t seem to want to be. He adores Iris.
The mother Hannah is a case. She has a fashion models body, dresses in tight clothes and high stilettos with a cigarette in one hand and clinking vodka and ice in the other. She is constantly dodging creditors with her maxed out credit cards. He partner Howell is a beauty. Film star looks with one eye in the mirror as he watches himself go by. He is on the fringes of Hollywood waiting for his big break but with Hannah behind him it will never come.
Iris is caught in the middle of it all and it is no surprise that she is a bit disturbed. She loves fires. Meeting her father and their conversations before he dies are sensational.
The language of the novel contains bitter sweet observations that will have you smiling with admiration. Howell for instance has toilet bowl white teeth.
The ending will have you on your feet applauding. The best book I have read this year.
“Is it possible to outrun the blood you have inherited, to become somebody else?” This quote from the book is the theme to this exciting, thought provoking and stunning novel for high school students and young adults.
Ben is 13 years old with a love of film making and he wants to be a cop when he grows up. His father even calls him Cop. Olive his sister is 7 years old and is built of stern stuff too. Their mother is dominated by their criminally minded father and one day a stroke of luck comes their way.
A bank error to the tune of $7.2 million dollars has the whole family on the run on outback Australia. Ben and Olivia know nothing of what is happening until an incident with a police patrol car has them fleeing like the devil himself was after them.
They hole up in a hut, tensions are high and Ben soon works out what has occurred. High drama begins and ends with a stunning father / son confrontation.
A million dollars can buy a lot of happy but is it worth it? Everybody has a choice and Ben learns to exercise his.
A compulsive read that will keep the reader on edge. One of the best novels I have read this year.
If you don’t know about these books that have captured reluctant readers especially boys then you missed a terrific series of novels. This is book 9 and it is every bit as appealling as the others, in fact I enjoyed it more.
Greg Heffley aka the Wimpy kid wrestles with one of life’s great mysteries, girls. He learns that girls not only go to the bathroom in groups but they run their lives by a different set of rules than boys.
His 5th grade class are having a Valentines Day dance and Greg must find a girl to take. He tries very hard and makes genuine efforts by his own standards and sense of humour but that is not good enough for girls.
He also gets involved with a School Student Council that wants to have the same soft toilet paper in the student toilets as the teachers do in the staffroom. Fat chance.
But the funniest stories are Greg’s memories in his mothers womb before he was born. No wonder he turned out like he did.
Just get it and read it. Jeff Kinney’s illustrations enhance his written text and I love his drawings of the girls.
Primary and intermediate in appeal but very good for slow or reluctant boy readers at any level.
Flip by Martyn Bedford. Pub. Walker Books, 2011.
Alex wakes up after a night out with his mate and finds himself in a bedroom he doesn’t recognise. He looks in the mirror and it isn’t his face, he goes to the toilet and the crown jewels are not his, they are more impressive in fact. Yuk!!
He hears a female voice calling Philip down to breakfast and he quickly realises that he is Philip, well the body is Philip but his mind is Alex. What has happened?
First he has to negotiate the first day including school, Philip’s friends, classes, sister, girlfriends and parents. Philip is alien to Alex. What has happened to his own body?
Mentally he starts to fall apart. Philip is a sporty jock with limited intelligence and Alex is more cerebral preferring chess and academic performance.
Alex tries to contact his family in London but discovers something is wrong and suspects that his own body of Alex is dead. He goes to London to see his family and I can tell you no more. Read it yourself.
Martyn Bedford makes you think. He touches on that important aspect of human existence, the soul. Can it be transferred from one person to another? Psychic evacuation he calls it. Terrific stuff. I loved this book.
Wonderful ending. Read it.