Good Reading : March 2015
A Game of Keeps Dianne Bates Young Ashley’s life with her mum doesn’t always run smoothly. Mum’s out a lot and Ashley is frequently left alone. Now there’s gross Eddie, her mum’s new boyfriend. He makes Ashley sick. Like Ashley’s mum, Eddie also hates Ashley’s pet guinea pig, Froggie. But Ashley wants her dad to come home again, to own a puppy, to become a dancer and to be first in her mother’s life. The Aunts and Uncles organisation opens up new possibilities for Ashley with Daisy and Will, two older people who begin to share Ashley’s life on occasional weekends and holidays. Nurtured by these war m, loving people in a way she’s longed for from her mum, Ashley finds joy away from home. She is encouraged to express herself and be who she is. But Ashley’s life is changing, and she is afraid of change. What will her place be in her mum’s life now? Will her mum still love her? Dianne Bates presents a child’s view of the adult world and a child’s needs and expectations. This viewpoint is juxtaposed with an adult’s view of the child’s world and the needs and expectations of an adult. A Game of Keeps reminded me of the penetrating child’s voice and the mother’s behaviour in Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy. Both books make you pay attention to what they are saying. It takes skill for a writer to enable the reader to empathise with both the child and the parent – and Bates has managed to do this. ★★★ Celapene Press $14.95 Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis Age guide 9+ GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING MARCH 2015 66 Silver Shoes 1: And All That Jazz Samantha-Ellen Bound Eleanor lives to dance, especially jazz and hip hop. She attends the best school in the district – Silver Shoes Dance Studio – and just adores her teacher, Miss Caroline. Eleanor’s dedication pays off when she is selected as part of a dance troupe competition, although her nerves start to creep in. She feels she doesn’t do well at auditions. Then there is Jasmine, who is one of the best dancers at the school. And to top it off, new girl Ashley joins. Even with the support of her family and best friend Paige, Eleanor has to believe in herself and rise above her nerves. This is a good book for young girls who are dance crazy and who will relate to the pressures that sometimes come with onstage perfor mances. There is also a helpful glossary for those unfamiliar with dance terms. ★★ Random House $14.99 Reviewed by Angela Bevan Age guide 7+ YOUNGER READERS WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR About Samantha-Ellen Bound Samantha-Ellen Bound lives in Melbourne and in Tasmania. She has worked as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, scriptwriter and actor. She has always been a reader, but it was the children’s classics that she read as a uni student that inspired her to write children’s books of her own. her teacher, Miss Caroline.