Fumbles, football and friends…

jarvisMarc E. Jarvis is a likeable, perhaps clumsy, but ‘typical’ 15 year old boy. While he is good at football, he appears to bumble along in life a bit: constantly losing things, feeling awkward with girls, and dreaming of how his life should work out. And he puts things off – like organising work experience, which he chooses, based on a glimpse of ‘the Girl’ coming out of a car yard.

Work experience at the car yard proves interesting. In a new situation, Marc learns to deal with several different personalities. An absent boss, a single mother/receptionist and a model-like car saleman create a curious mix for Marc to learn the trade from. In the process, he actually succeeds in selling several cars!

Meanwhile, Marc also dreams of finding ‘the Girl’ yet again, and meeting her to make a good impression. Since the story is told from his perspective, we feel his angst, know about his preparations for a ‘chance’ meeting, and experience his doubts. His best friend, Trav, also provides a good sounding board for him, as he offers advice and comments that allow us to identify well with Marc’s journey.

Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen is this year’s Young Adult winner in the CBCA awards. In it, we have believeable characters, dealing with issues within friendships, family relationships and the struggleto know oneself. Marc is an affable youth, learning more about himself as he ventures outside the school environment. Chasing the friendship of the elusive and talented, Electra, he experiences the highs and lows of young love.

davidmetWhat impacts does his time at the car sales yard have on his life? Does his crazy football coach recognise his talents? And importantly, does the boy get the girl in the end?

To hear David speak about writing for young adults, click here, as he talks about why he demands his characters are authentic and real. As a successful writer, there is much to learn from him.

For another interview with David Metzenthen see Writer in Residence: Inside a dog, and details of his other books at Focus on Fiction , many well recognised and awarded titles.

Leave any comments you have, if you too have read this latest or found the interviews thought provoking too. (Click on comments top right.)