Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lorraine's Latest Reviews

Kyla by Frances Cherry, Scholastic New Zealand
Every teenager’s worst nightmare comes true when Kyla’s beloved grandmother dies suddenly – and Kyla is left with nobody to look after her. Kyla’s aunt Caroline reluctantly takes her in, but it means Kyla has to leave all her friends and move to Wellington. Kyla and Caroline find it very difficult to accommodate each other. Kyla retreats into a world of make-believe and tells lies to the girls at school about her family and background. When she’s caught out she simply can’t cope any more, and she runs away. Her attempt to return to Auckland is fraught with difficulty and danger but it’s actually a blessing in disguise – she is forced to accept that she can never go back to her old life. Girls of around 12 to 15 will happily devour this story. It’s simply written but packed with tension and emotion.
ISBN 978 1 86943 883 8 RRP $19 Teaching Resource Available
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

The Runaway Settlers by Elsie Locke, HarperCollins New Zealand
This old favourite has been conveniently re-issued in the Collins Modern New Zealand Classics series. Originally published in 1965, it is set in 1859 and tells the tale of the Small family – who escape from an abusive father in Australia by running away to New Zealand. Mrs Small and her six children have little money but they are very resourceful. They settle in a rundown cottage on a big country station near Lyttleton, and earn a living by selling vegetables and flowers. After several setbacks Mrs Small and one of her sons make the family’s fortune by driving a herd of cattle over to the West Coast to sell beef to the gold miners. The trials and adventures of the family make fascinating reading, all the more interesting because it’s a true story about real people. Best for intermediate ages upwards.
ISBN 978 1 86950 769 5 RRP $20 Teaching Resource Available
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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