DEC Scan Journal : May 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 2 May 2011 81 SYLLABUS: English 7--10; English Stage 6: Standard; Advanced Paper $35.00 SCIS 1487139 PLÜSS, Nicole Scout Penguin Group (Australia), 2010 ISBN 9780143204589 Life for Kit Lovell has not been easy. She never knew her father, a renowned sea captain who drowned after his ship sank. Evicted from their home in England, after the death of Kit's grandmother, Kit is forced to embark on a treacherous journey to the far flung colony of South Australia after her mother agrees to marry a man she has never met. In an adventurous narrative, the monotony of the sea journey aboard the Scout is beautifully balanced with nail biting moments of peril. A motley array of characters adds depth to the sweeping plot. Filled with tragedy, humour and poignancy, this historical novel is an excellent read. H. Gardiner USER LEVEL: Stage 4 Stage 5 KLA: English SYLLABUS: English 7--10 Paper $17.95 SCIS 1472763 REECE, Gordon Mice Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2010 ISBN 9781742372358 A teenage thriller, this is an exciting but disturbing read about a studious girl who is terribly bullied and eventually forced to leave her school. At the same time, her parents are involved in a bitter divorce. She and her mother retreat to the country where they are shaken out of their peaceful life by an attacker. They take violent revenge. Her own violence gives the girl the confidence to return to school, presumably to take revenge on her bullies. Shelley's initial thoughts about suicide are interrupted by violence as a means of countering rejection. While this is a compelling suspense tale, there is no realistic recognition in the narrative that schools do anything about bullying. Any well devised anti-bullying policies are conveniently omitted. A. Soutter USER LEVEL: Stage 4 Stage 5 Paper $19.99 SCIS 1473591 REES, Celia The fool's girl Bloomsbury, UK, 2010 ISBN 9781408803325 A perilous quest to recover Illyria's sacred relic finds the young descen- dent of Orsin and Viola in London with her faithful, comic companion. Pursuing the evil Malvolio, Violette and Feste meet the genial William Shakespeare, who assists them with their objective to restore order. Shakespeare enthusiasts will revel in the allusions to Twelfth night, since this novel playfully suggests that Violetta's recounts are what inspire the Bard to compose the famous comedy. In the Forest of Arden, where Violette and Feste are hidden for their safety, there is a delightful encounter with a spritely boy called, Robin. Even without recognising these intertextual references the narrative will engage readers in the adventurous tale and interwoven love story. E. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 KLA: English SYLLABUS: English 7--10 Paper $16.99 SCIS 1460060 STIEFVATER, Maggie Linger Scholastic, USA, 2010 ISBN 9780545123280 Riding on the wave of enthusiasm for the supernatural romance genre, this is the second book in The wolves of Misty Falls trilogy. In this segment, Sam and Grace's relationship deepens, though Sam is still haunted by his werewolf past, and both are concerned about their future. Sam fears losing his human form and tensions mount as other wolves come out of the forest for the seasonal change. Grace is suppressing problems of her own. Sam and Grace are joined by Isabel and Cole as narrators and it is interesting to see events unfold from the four different perspectives. Interpersonal tensions, secrecy and personal anxieties provide the drama in the otherwise uneventful Misty Falls setting. Readers who enjoyed Shiver will no doubt be keen to find out what takes place in this attractively presented sequel. Listen to the author read the prologue at <www.maggiestiefvater.com/shiver/>. E. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 $29.99 SCIS 1470678 WOMERSLEY, Chris Bereft Scribe, Vic, 2010 ISBN 9781921640605 Compellingly haunting, this novel immerses readers in a story of a deplorable injustice. Its bleak, 1919 Australian context focuses on unsettling realities following the Great War and the seemingly unrelenting Spanish flu epidemic. In the desolate former gold mining town of Flint, a pathetic, mutilated soldier returns, as if from the dead. Quinn Walker takes refuge in the hills above the town and he risks revealing his anonymity when visiting his ailing mother. Quinn fled his home a decade earlier when he was accused of killing his twelve year old sister, Sarah. Befriending a resilient, resourceful orphan, Sadie Fox, who is also hiding in the hills, Quinn discovers more about this unthinkable past. This sparks his desire for justice. The narrative's subtlety makes it a horrific yet engaging tale. E. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 Paper $32.95 SCIS 1473391 Behind the news topics. Lower primary [series] Pearson, Vic, 2010 A surprising amount of quality information on a variety of occupations is contained in these books. Each double page spread includes large text, photographs, tables, and short, Information, poetry and drama Resources are in Dewey order.