Shooting Stars by Brian Falkner, Scholastic NZ
Brian Falkner has written successfully in several different genres – here’s another work from him that’s different to anything he’s written before. With my librarian’s hat on, I’d say this is a mix of adventure/survival and social issues, written mainly for teenage boys (although book-addicted girls will read it too). Egan Tucker is the 15-year-old narrator who has lived all his life in a remote hut in the Coromandel bush, with only his mother to raise him and books to educate him. When his mother vanishes while on a trek to the nearest grocery shop, Egan must emerge into society to find out what has happened to her.
Armed with a bow and arrow, Egan makes his way to Auckland. The reader is made uneasy by seeing through Egan’s eyes the dangers and cruelties of 21st-century urban life. Egan meets a group of street kids – meanwhile trying to locate the friendly deer culler whom he’d met in the bush months beforehand.
Egan finds there is plenty he doesn’t know about his own family background. He ends up living with his sports-star father – but be warned, it’s far from a happy ending. This story is an absorbing read with an unforgettable hero, packed with action and emotion, but it poses many uncomfortable questions about the ethics of our modern lifestyle. You’ll still remember Egan’s story many years later.
ISBN 978 1 77543 360 6
RRP $21 Pb
Ages: 12 years +
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman