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Hodder Children's Books

The Listmaker by Robin Klein & The Apostle Bird by Garry Disher

September 1997, no. 194

It takes a book like Robin Klein’s The Listmaker to remind adults that a children’s book which succeeds in conveying a child’s point of view may well not immediately engage more mature readers. In this instance, Klein so precisely articulates the self-absorbed voice of twelve­year-old Sarah, the eponymous listmaker, that it takes an effort of will for an adult reader to persist past the first few pages of what seem like overstated emotions and overdetermined plot. Children will have no trouble accepting Sarah’s voice and understanding that it’s like it is because it’s been distorted by her circumstances. Adults too, however, would do well to persevere with The Listmaker, for it turns out to be a heart-felt indictment of how our greedy me-first society can damage children.

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