Thursday, 24 March 2016

Review: Frankie

“Don’t judge me, bitch. This is a high-stress situation.” - Frankie, p. 9.

A photograph of the novel Frankie with the following text: "Frankie, Shivaun Plozza, Frankie's a gutsy character with a lot of heart, Melina Marcheta."
Shivaun Plozza's debut YA novel Frankie.
Shivaun Plozza’s debut YA novel Frankie (Penguin, April 2016) will slice you like an electric knife through kebab meat. The title character’s sassiness, cynicism, mistrust and anger hooked me immediately, and I seesawed between wanting to hug her and boot her up the backside throughout the book. The writing is smooth and immediate, and pinballed me around the full range of the emotional spectrum.

Frankie Vega’s 17 and lives with her aunt Vinnie in a flat above Vinnie’s kebab shop. Xavier contacts Frankie claiming to be her half-brother, and she’s suspended from school after breaking a boy’s nose. When Xavier disappears, Frankie reluctantly accepts help from his partner in crime (not a euphemism) Nate to help find him.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Review: Forever

Judy Blume
Macmillan (2015 reprint)

A photograph of the cover of Judy Blume's Forever.
The 2015 reprint of Judy Blume's Forever.
My son pulled Forever off a shelf in a bookstore. It was next to Enid Blyton in the young readers’ section.

He thought I’d like it because it had a cherry on the front, and I like cherries. He’s a young, innocent child. Thoughtful – but innocent.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Why the message matters

We’re sending our children mixed messages. 

On one hand – be confident to be yourself. On the other – don’t be too much like yourself, because difference is something to be feared.

Between the failings raised by the current inquiry into institutionalised child abuse, the treatment of asylum-seeker children in offshore detention centres and the attacks on the Safe Schools program, which provides “resources and support to equip staff and students with skills, practical ideas and greater confidence to lead positive change and be safe and inclusive for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families”, Australia is not acting like it’s kid-friendly.

Make that Australia’s not kid-friendly to those who don’t fit into a constructed view of ‘normality’.