A book for young adults set around Sydney Harbour. Bullying, racism, love and loss are woven into the story in which the heroine, Jodie faces major changes in her life following moving house, a new school and the death of her mother. She comes to terms with these traumas slowly through meeting new people, her sporting abilities and sheer bravery. Grief affects people differently and it takes time to understand the way others cope; for example, Jodie wants to talk about her mother but her father doesn’t and keeps working ever harder in an effort to fill his days so he doesn’t have to think of his dead wife.
Jodie has to find a new way to interact with her father; the family unit needs reshaping without her mother’s presence. Jodie has to accept a higher level of responsibility for the running of the house – such as she and her father taking turns at preparing the evening meal.
The inclusion of fairies and a spiritual element will appeal to those who like to believe in such things. The ghostly presence of Jodie’s mother eventually helps her to accept her mother’s death. While adults might find the ‘heaven’ chapter fey and unbelievable, children could be comforted by such beliefs and there is nothing there to upset or alarm anyone.
Young people will envy Jodie’s chances to sail alone and explore her world so freely. In the course of her adventures she finds some dead penguins. This ultimately alerts the authorities to the presence of a new breeding ground for penguins which stops a major development in the area. Messing about in boats has always been a great way to develop character and resilience and while she is sailing, Jodie is able to forget her worries about school and home.
This book is very readable and will appeal to young people from the age of 10.
|Publisher||Short Stop Press|
|Distributor||Short Stop Press|