Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Margot Hillel

Looking Out for Ollie by Sharon Montey & Ghost Train by Michael Stephens

May 1995, no. 170

Writers for children have always known this: from the Puritans who thinly disguised their religious teachings under stories of children who lived a pure life and went to heaven, and those who didn’t and went to hell; to modem writers who tell stories to help children cope with difficult aspects of modem life.

... (read more)

Given the recent happenings in East Timor, this is a timely novel. It is the moving story of the developing tragedy following the withdrawal of Portugal from its former colony and the invasion by Indonesia. The book is focused through Jose, a fourteen-year-old boy who finds the events puzzling and distressing. He finds some solace in the fighting cock given to him by his uncle, the person he most relies on for wisdom and guidance. Eventually, at the insistence of his mother, he is evacuated to Portugal, where he becomes a lawyer working for Amnesty International. The last chapter brings the book full circle, as we have first met Jose as an adult, in his law office in Lisbon, looking at a paperweight which holds the tail feather of a fighting cock.

... (read more)

Creep Steet by John Marsden & The Secret by Sophie Masson

July 1996, no. 182

The two books reviewed here, although very different in many ways, do have one thing in common – they have something to do with a secret, which the readers, and the protagonists, all come to know.

... (read more)