If you loved the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – you will love the Bone Sparrow, by Zara Fraillon.
At the centre of this moving story is a friendship between two different children, who despite their circumstances discover and ultimately rescue each other. The only world that Subhi has ever known is within the confines of a detention centre in remote country Australia where he was born and now lives with his Maa and older sister, Queeny. They had escaped persecution and death in Myanmar due to their Rohingya ethnicity. On the other side of the razor wire fence, just over the hill, lives frizzy, flame-haired Jimmie, with her working dad and brother, Jonah, in their modest house on the outskirts of town. Jimmie is struggling to cope with her mother’s death, sporadically attending school and longing to spend time with her grieving absent father; Subhi carefully navigates his way through each day, keeping a watchful eye on his ailing mother. One night, Jimmie ventures out over the hill and under the razor wire fence where she meets Subhi. Jimmie’s bone sparrow pendant and her precious notebook, filled with her mother’s handwritten stories, spark fear and fascination in Subhi. With each secret rendezvous, the two learn more about each other. We are painted a picture of the harsh realities of life in immigration detention centers in this confronting story, written from Subhi’s point of view. The blossoming friendship between Subhi and Jimmie at the centre of the novel slowly reveals the differences and the similarities between the two children. Through understanding and empathy, the characters in this story are well developed. “A story within a story” offers a sense of hope throughout the narrative. Sensitive readers will be challenged by the cruelty and harsh conditions depicted in the detention centre. For more mature readers, particularly those who have read similar novels such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the Bone Sparrow will prove to be unforgettable and thought provoking. (From Magpies, Nola Allen)
Reserve your copy from the library! 🙂
Apple’s maternal grandmother has raised her from infancy because her mother left the family to seek fame and fortune as an actor in America. Now thirteen, she longs for more independence than her loving Nana is prepared to allow, feels alienated from her father and his new family, and wishes her mother showed some interest in her. A crush on an older boy who does not take her seriously, a nasty girl in her class at school and her best friend’s shifting loyalty add to her woes. But when her mother suddenly returns to the quiet English seaside town and invites her to share a flat, her joy is soon felt with guilt. Apple knows how much she has hurt her grandmother’s feelings and views her mother’s smoking, drinking and messy parties critically. She is soon missing school to care for Rain, her emotionally disturbed half-sister, while her mother goes to London for auditions, and both resents and loves the little girl. Apple is sensitive and conscientious with sound principles, narrating events with vivid emotion. Poetry depicts the complex family relationships, moral and social issues. A new English teacher focuses on great poems, encourages discussion and sets written responses for homework. Apple always writes well, but submits surface-level assignments while keeping her honest, deep poems private, until the chain of events and her personal growth give her the confidence to share them in class. Apple and Rain is an enjoyable read for the sensitive at heart. Some poems are memorable, contrasting with Apple’s intense storytelling throughout the novel. Sophisticated readers will be left to draw their own conclusions about the motives of Apple’s mother and grandmother and the complexities of their relationship. This book appeals to everyone interested in the reality of teenage lives. A warm hopeful ending will leave you wondering what is temporary or permanent… ~ From Magpies magazine
Reserve your copy in the library today! Happy reading 🙂
From Mrs. Robinson
Want a thrilling, fast paced, action adventure with high drama and suspense? Author Sophie McKenzie has crafted an unput-downable read.
The story opens with the central character Lauren receiving an English task on the topic ‘Who Am I?’
Knowing she was adopted at a young age, Lauren asks her parents about her biological mother but gets very little information, they get very anxious when she brings it up and would rather avoid the topic. So Lauren decides to do her own investigating … a simple Google search leads her to a missing childrens’ website …. where she finds a picture of a young girl that looks just like her at 4, and born only days away from her birthday.
This sets Lauren off on a dangerous journey to find the truth … dangerous because some people will stop at nothing to hide the truth.
Genres: Crime, Thriller, Adventure, (some Romance).
More information about the book here.
We have two copies in the library and the sequel too: Sister, Missing (playlist here)
Don’t trust me? 😉 Read these other reviews:
This post is for the truly devoted One Direction fans.
Even though they have come and gone and caused a total frenzy with teens all over Australia, many of you are anticipating the 2013 World Tour.
September 2013 is a long wait, so to ease your suffering the Library has purchased two copies of the One Direction: Forever Young : X Factor story.
This book is packed with personal snaps, unseen photographs shot especially for the book and backstage footage. This is the story of their time on the X Factor.
Visit us at the library to reserve your copy!
Don’t despair the loan period for this book is one week instead of two, this will ensure the reserve queue runs more efficiently.
(Mother of a screaming 1D fan!)
Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated–until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labour of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself–even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard. (goodreads.com).
What I enjoyed most about this book was learning about the laborous process of celadon pottery making. The careful selection and gathering of the grey-brown clay, intricate detailed incisions and finally firing of the vessel that would later transform into a delicate green glaze.
I thought I would share with you the magnificent craft of twelfth century Korean Celadon pottery.
Every page was an absolute pleasure to read! Suitable for all ages.
About the author: Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children’s fiction. She has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. She received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.
The Horses Didn’t Come Home by Pamela Rushby is a beautiful story of loyalty and courage that highlights the bond between the Australian Light Horse soldiers and their horses. This Australian novel tells the story of the victorious cavalry charge at Beersheba in the Sinai Desert in 1917 during World War I, which is in contrast to the horrific events at Gallipoli.
The story begins with 16-year-old Harry and his family on aQueenslandproperty in 1914. Army officers arrive at Henderson’s Run seeking horses for the Light Horse regiments forFrance,England,Egypt and the Middle East. Harry and his friend Jack decide that they want to serve in the Australian Army as Light Horsemen. When Harry’s horse becomes lame prior to departure, Harry’s sister Laura allows him to take her beloved horse Bunty.
The story is told through two characters’ points of view – Jack and his sister Laura. Much of Jack’s story is told though letters to his family, even letters to Laura from Bunty informing them of his training and battles during his two year deployment in Egypt and the Middle East.
The book’s title pinpoints the story’s ending. The Horses Didn’t Come Home is an accessible and beautifully written historical war novel for students in Years 7-10. It is sure to provide readers with new knowledge and understanding about Australia’s Light Horse regiments during World War I and the infamous cavalry charge at Beersheba.
I highly recommend this book.
Deborah Ellis’, best known at OLMC for her Parvana trilogy, depicts the disparity between Indian social classes in her latest novel The Best Day of My Life through the eyes of a young orphan girl, Valli. Daily life for Valli in the coal mining area ofJharia,India, is hard to say the least. She fights to overcome hunger, overcrowding and her uncle’s abuse. Valli earns a meagre living collecting coal and she is not allowed to attend school. Her greatest fear is being thrown to the ‘monsters’ in the nearby leper camp. This is truly a story of courage, hope and resilience.
On the best day of her life Valli discovers that the people she believed to be her family were not. Seeking a better life Valli stows away on a truck headed for Kolkata (Calcutta). She calls upon her innate bravery and resourcefulness to survive by begging and ‘borrowing’, unaware that she too is infected with leprosy. Fortunately Valli meets a doctor to offers to treat her “magic feet” in a leprosy hospital. But first she must decide whether she can trust this doctor and overcome her fear of lepers who she once considered as “monsters”. Over time Valli becomes compassionate for her fellow leprosy suffers and finds her place in a community filled with support, love and care. Importantly Valli sees hope for her future.
The novel is a highly recommended read for students in Years 7-9. The author has included notes on leprosy and a glossary of Indian terms. With its short chapters The Best Day of My Life is an accessible and easy read for students and is a compelling tale of a person’s strength over adversity.
No Safe Place emphasises the strength of human character and determination during times of adversity. Ellis, renowned for her Parvana trilogy, successfully captures the horrific experiences of young characters attempting to escape atrocities associated with war.
Orphaned 15-year-old Abdul flees war-torn Baghdad to a squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais, France, with high hopes for a better life and opportunities in England. Following an altercation at the camp, Abdul escapes and in desperation sneaks onto a people-smuggler’s boat headed for England. He remains unseen until well at sea. On the boat Abdul meets Rosalia, a 14-year-old Romani girl who has escaped the white slave trade; 13-year-old Cheslav, a Russian military school runaway and 10-year-old Jonah, the people-smuggler’s abused nephew. Once isolated and hardened by their experiences, the four children form a friendship amid battling rough seas and a violent people-smuggler, who is eventually thrown overboard by the refugees.
While sailing toward England and enduring rough conditions, Abdul’s story merges with the stories of the other refugees, Rosalia and Cheslav, who dream of freedom and a life away from brutality and treachery. Flashbacks delving into the past experiences of Rosalia, Cheslav and Jonah draw the reader to a deeper understanding of their harrowing lives that now sees them with Abdul on the boat contemplating a brighter future. Together their myriad of stories of loss, despair and prejudice related in No Safe Place will evoke disbelief and sympathy from readers. During the treacherous boat journey the reader continually wonders whether the group will make it to England and what will happen if they get there.
No Safe Place is a story of courage and friendship based on the true experiences of refugee children seeking to find a place for themselves in the world. Strong and powerful themes emerge, including society’s attitudes to refugees, racism, desperation and hope, resilience, human rights and the importance of home. This well-written novel keeps the reader hooked until the end. With a fast-paced and vivid storyline, realistic characters that allow the reader to connect with their heart-felt stories and feel empathy for their plight, it is an easy-to-read and accessible novel for students in Years 7-9.
Copies of No Safe Place are available at the OLMC Library.