Two reviews for shortlisted books for older readers (compliments from Mr Balbi):
Bone Sparrow. This is a rather confronting read that gives an insight into the lives of detainees in refugee camps. The trials and tribulations of Subhi are heart wrenching and the relationship between him and Jimmie (someone from the outside that is dealing with her own issues of abandonment) as they both find a shared healing process is powerful. This is an engaging read, much like The Boy in Striped Pyjamas in an Australian context.
There’s a tension between trying to live out your dreams and trying to live in incarceration and balancing the two. Perhaps the only way to truly escape is to escape through your imagination.
Frankie. The attraction here is that the novel is set in Melbourne. Another attraction is the influence of a migrant background. Perhaps, the most important attraction is the way Frankie eventually deals with her anger and grows up. Frankie is an angry girl… a very angry girl and is dealing with a mother who abandoned her and a “just found” step brother. Frankie can be annoying at times and you do want to tell her to “get over it” but isn’t that the value of literature – a powerful character that evokes a wide range of emotions in you!
These are another 2 books shortlisted for the CBCA Young Adult awards this year – which one catches your imagination?
Thanks, Mr Balbi for your insight into these novels!