Sunday, July 4, 2010
Aurthur: Libby Gleeson
First Published: 1990 by Turton & Chambers
Mick is cast as the artful dodger in the school musical, Oliver. on the edge of the popular crowd he isn't sure what they'll think but after a couple of mishaps he is convinced to take the risk. but being in the musical doesn't always go smoothly. what mick doesn't know is that his history teacher Penny has stuck out her neck to have him in the musical because she wants to give him a hand. after a run in during the first lesson mick penny's special project, for reason she can't explain she is drawn to him. in a letter to her friend she writes "i see him as one of those immature kids who's got to prove himself to kids who are a bit older and a bit more established in groups or friendships. the responsibility of being in the play could be really good for him, make him grow up a bit". this is exactly what mick does, it also gives him a change to make some friends who aren't footballers who don't give a stuff. with all these changes stuff gets mixed up for mick and lots of old issues come to head, unfortunately in the middle of the play. mick had kept a lid on how he felt about his mother's death and his father working as a long distance truck driver for 3 years.
i really enjoyed this book and found it over all very realistic and easy to understand and relate to. the letters from history teacher penny to a friend help us get a very different view of mick and life as a teacher. for someone like me who is considering being a teacher she is exactly the type i want to be, interesting, nice, but still in control. it shows teachers in a much more human light which i think is a nice change, it's something i forget while I'm at school. the book flows very well but i found the ending a little sudden, i would have liked to know more about what happened after the musical. even though the ending was quite sudden it was a good ending. some novels about grieving over a death have very dramatic endings, with Dodger the ending was much closer to life. though this is a very good, and over all very realistic book i found how quickly and easily Mick turned his life around a bit fake. in my opinion at least, you don't just stop being friends with 2 popular and quite mean guys. especially because at the beginning he was very concerned of what they thought and what they would do. i also felt that time wise it was strange, at the start it was first term and suddenly it was third term. once you are caught in the story neither of those things things matter much. it was only when i got to the end and went WHAT!? that i noticed these faults.
this book was very good and a had subtlety i've never seen before in a book about a child losing their mother.