This anthology, provided gratis (thank you!) by the Fremantle Children's Literature Centre, is a collection of writing by Brigid Lowry and illustrations by Beci Orpin.
I went backwards and forwards about these stories and characters; some I loved and imagined reading aloud to my classes, and then there was the second last story "Petalheads."
I don't want to turn anyone who might be reading this (anyone?!) off reading the anthology, but this one was a doozie and exactly the sort of text I think teens don't need to read. I'd love to hear from you if you disagree! The main character Jaya Cloudburst is "let loose in a world of Emilys" and is depressed. She meets up with Ruby who is bipolar. They are in an institution, and are separated when they design posters for "Let's Kill Ourselves Day." Other patients include an anorexic, a romantic interest and Jaya's alcoholic parents. While the pacing is tight and interesting, there's just too much happening in there in terms of unnecessary pain.
Ok, so that one is not my favourite... "An Alphabet of Girls With Glorious Names" is cute and "There Are Two Sorts of People" is lovely too. I loved the structure of this one which used the repetition of the title adding the premise for the next section. For example: "There are two sorts of people, those who like beetroot and those who don't."
"The Wedding Poem" is just beautiful and made me tear up! Here's the first stanza:
Off you go, you two,off you go
Away with you into the dusky summer evening,
flying a light plane into the winds of possibility and chance,
into a sky abundant
with dreams and credit cards, daughters and dogs,
discussions about microwaves and fairy lights.
Everything in this universe
has led to just this moment.
Lowry has an excellent style and her quirky narratives would be cause for lots of discussion.
Recommended for: potential poets, girls who love to doodle and draw and from the back cover: "the girl with the dodgy sense of humour; for the girl who likes sad songs and blue marbles..."
- lots of ideas for modelling writing
- illustrate your own writing a la this text