Steven Herrick: Slice

The teenage life

Mike Shuttleworth

 

Slice: Juicy Moments from My Impossible Life
by Steven Herrick
Woolshed Press, $17.95 pb, 222 pp, 9781864719642

 

In the Young Adult novel Slice: Juicy Moments from My Impossible Life, you will meet Darcy Pele Franz Walker, a boy named after famous international footballers, but one who has no interest in the game. There is no death or sex (though Darcy wonders frequently about the latter). Nobody has cancer (though a friend’s father suffers a stroke). There are no divorced parents and no drug-taking (though binge-drinking is served with comic humiliation). There is mention of Shakespeare (but not enough to make Slice a novel for classroom dissection). There is a school camp, in which nobody gets lost and no wildlife is gratuitously harmed (though the class yobs behave like, well, yobs). And there is the girl, Audrey Benitez, smart, appealing and in no hurry to hang with the in-crowd. Darcy’s kind of girl.

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Mike Shuttleworth

Mike Shuttleworth is the convenor for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s and Young Adult sections. He was director of the Melbourne Writers Festival schools program from 2011-2015 and curated the exhibition Look! The art of Australian picture books today, for the State Library of Victoria.