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Margaret Clark

Water Colours by Sarah Walker & Bad Girl by Margaret Clark

October 2000, no. 225

Sometimes ‘good’ girls just have to be ‘bad’. The ‘heroines’ of both these novels desperately want ‘to fit in’, but eventually discover that ‘fitting in’ involves accepting yourself for who you are, not changing into someone else. This seems an obvious lesson, but of course it’s one of the hardest to learn. Both books are jacketed in gorgeous fashion; the matte photographic images are enticing and every bit as seductive as the CD cases and video clips they emulate. But where one is brash and vibrant the other is muted and subtle – a description which could aptly be applied to the plots, too. For Walker and Clark deal with the age-old concern of self-identity in very different ways.

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Sacked! by Rachel Flynn, illustrated by Craig Smith & Footy Shorts by Margaret Clark

April 2000, no. 219

Rachel Flynn’s Sacked! is for the eight-to ten-year-old market, the same audience that J.K.  Rowling’s Harry Potter books are tapping. It’s an interesting stage when everything from cereal packets to Dad’s car manual demands to be read.

Sacked! explores a clever absurdity with tongue-in-cheek, where the adult is likely to see the joke more than the child.

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