Harper Collins Australia
- ISBN: 9781460762653
- ISBN 10: 1460762657
- Imprint: HarperCollins AU
- List Price: 17.99 AUD
For many tweens the transition from child to teen is a tumultuous time, and Evie Hart is one such who is struggling to feel secure and grounded as so much impacts on her life.
Her much-loved stepfather, Lee, is moving out and it’s not just the awful jolt of her parents’ separation, but the fact that Lee is relocating all the way to Dubbo, hundreds of kilometres and many hours away that is a major traumatic event for young Evie. Then there are the constant niggles and passive-aggressive bullying from her classmate, Nicole, in particular the gibes about Evie’s mum. While her class is learning about astronomy, with Evie’s favourite teacher Miss Clark, Nicole takes to ridiculing astrology, which is how Evie’s mum earns her living.
But Miss Clark’s engaging teaching about the wonders of the universe, and the endless possibilities provide Evie with much needed solace and relief for her anxieties as she ponders the bigger picture in both life and space. Just pondering the vastness of the cosmos gives Evie latitude to consider the boundaries and hopes of her own sphere, and the pluses of the trajectory her life is on.
There are some marvellous characterisations in this novel, with primary and secondary characters created with authenticity and appeal, in particular, Evie’s garrulous friend, Farrah, and neighbour, Nance O’Neil, whose pink-iced buns are a weekly salve to the family’s ups and downs.
Evie’s journey from her fretful worries to a more confident person, finding some security in her own identity, is a pilgrimage that most young people take, as they grow into the adults they will become.
The symbolism of the backdrop of the endless universe,and the complexities it holds is no coincidence to the big questions of life. The interspersing of fantastic facts is a delightful bonus, including, I am happy to say, the information on First Nations’ astronomy and its importance to our Indigenous Australians.
Sameerah’s Matilda Prize winning first novel, Half my Luck, proved her ability as a YA author and this second novel for MG has demonstrated a versatility that is exciting and fresh. Readers from around ten years upwards will enjoy this thought-provoking and warm-hearted narrative and I am pleased to recommend it to you for your middle/upper primary readers.