Hamilton Road, FAIRFIELD WEST 2165
------------Book Reviews Page 1
Two Hands Together
Winner of Book of the Year 2001 : Younger Readers
Children's Book Council of Australia
This novel is easy to read and recommended for junior students.
Diana Kidd wrote this book about an extraordinary friendship that develops between two
ordinary girls. The book deals with themes such as human bonding, the importance of secrets,
trust and racism.
It all starts when Danny, Ella, their mother, Aunty Maisie, Uncle Charlie and the little dog
Spike, move in next door to Lily, Jake and their mother and father. Lily's father has an unknown
reason for holding something against the new neighbours. His intolerance of them is surprising
ashis most prized possession is his "Best and Fairest" trophy which he received when he played
in the U 16's football team.
Lily and Jake love to spend time with their new friends playing and listening to Aunty Maisie's
wonderful stories about her past and her adventures with the possum skin rug her mother had
carefully stitched together.
How do you change someone's beliefs? Will dad ever shed his hard exterior like a snake sheds its
Will Dad ever learn to move on and change with the times? What terrible things need to happen
before Dad finally changes his ways?
This review was written by Justin Turnbull (7 Blue).
THE LOST THING
Awarded Honours in Picture Book of the Year 2001|
by Children's Book Council of Australia
"What is it?"
"I dunno man," he said. I don't think it comes from anywhere, you know some thing's are just
like that......just plain lost."
This picture book was written by Shaun Tan and is the story about a lost thing which is
portrayed in the format of twisted pictures by the illustrator.
Its the story of a teenager who picks up bottle tops for a living. One day he finds "a lost
I would describe this thing as a horrible red, gigantic machine-looking creature. He tries to
take it back where it belongs. He tells of how he went about trying to find where it belonged
and how he was the only person who realised it was lost or even existed. It describes how he
ponders over what makes a thing "lost" as opposed to just existing. Others tend to think of all
the disadvantages associated with the "thing" like when his parents say it is dirty, may have
germs or carry diseases.
Do people really care about things or other people? Are we too busy in our lives to notice
others? There are underlying themes to this very clever and well illustrated book.
This book was reviewed by Teresa Le (7Blue).
This is another excellent book from well known Australian author John Marsden. It is the
story of an orphaned girl named Winter de Salis who lives with an aunt and uncle whom she does
not get along with. She recalls little of her past but knows that the family property,Warriewood,
is a place she needs to return to. It has been twelve years since her parents died and she has
not felt like she belonged to a family.
Memories are destroyed when she arrives at her childhood home which has been alowed to go to
ruin. Those managing the property act suspiciously and all the furniture has disappeared.
Mystery surrounds the death of her parents. Winter has to take one step at a time to deal with
the future. This novels witnesses the transformation from a moody adolescent to a strong willed
young woman. An interesting
subject for readers of both genders. It will prepare you for understanding the people you will
encounter during your lifetime.
Victor Kelleher is another Australian contemporary author that should be read. The setting
for this novel is the "Promised Land" located along the Darling River. The main characters are
Jack Curtis and his nephew Nat who is searching for him. It is set somewhere in the future in
post greenhouse times so it highlights the problems assosciated with global warming. Nature,
ecology, environment, family relationships, loyalty and adventure are themes of the book.
Nat's journey is one similar to that in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. It is a journey for truth,
reality and even death. This book is thought provoking and chilling. It is suitable for the
THE PRINCESS DIARIES
Meg Talbot has written a fun book that has been also been used as the story for a Disney
film of the same name. Mia Thermopolis lives in Greenwich Village, New York. Her mother is a
semi-famous painter and a single parent to this ninth grader. Mia's life is pretty boring except
for her daydreams about kissing a senior student, Josh Richterm.
Then one day her father comes to town and her life is suddenly different. He is not just a
politician but a prince of a small European country. She is acyually crown princess of Genovia.
She lacks self esteem feeling that she doesn't"even know how to begin to cope" with her new role
in life and being hunted by the paparazzi (reporters).
"I am so NOT a princess...You never saw anyone who looked less like a princess than I do" and
then she goes on to point out all the flaws in her appearance such as "I have really bad hair...
and... a really big mouth and no breasts and feet that look like skis."
Life is not easy for Mia and this makes excellent, entertaining reading. Girls will identify
with her when she has a fight with her best friend etc.
Read the book before you see the movie based on the book.
Archimede Fusillo has written a very sensitive book about the relationship between Paul
and his Italian grandfather, Nonno. Paul not only has to deal with the death of his father but
now his grandfather is being affected by Dementia, an illness which many older people suffer
from. He tries to help his mother cope with looking after the old man so he doesn't have to
live in a home for old people.
This story has lots of relevance to children who have relatives suffering an illness and who
need extra care. Fusillo has portrayed the special bond between the old man and his grandson
very well. secrets are another subject which is well handled in this book. It is inspiring to
read a novel which reveals the beautiful impact older people can have on the lives of young ones.
This book is highly recommended as it deals with loyalty, respect and family love.
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