Good Reading : November 2016
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING NOVEMBER 2016 60 YOUNG ADULT / YOUNGER READERS WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG Freedom Swimmer Wai Chim It’s the late 1960s, and Chairman Mao is in control of China. In spite of Mao’s many promises, life in China is very difficult, especially for people in rural communities. Although his parents are dead, Ming has somehow clung to life and survived the Great Chinese Famine. He lives in a dor mitory with other young men who are on their own, and he ekes out a living working in the fields. When a group of Red Guard members are sent to ‘help’ the village understand Mao’s teachings, Ming and his friends aren’t sure what to make of them. But, eventually, Ming befriends Li, one of the newcomers. In the dire days of Mao’s Great Leap Forward it is easy to get on the wrong side of the people in power. When Li finds himself in serious trouble due to his father’s past failings, he and Ming begin to dream of escaping to freedom by swimming to Hong Kong. Surely it can’t be that difficult to evade the guards with their dogs – and the boat patrols and the sharks? For those of us who have always lived in the freedom and democracy of Australia, it is difficult to imagine what it must be like to live under such an oppressive regime. Thanks to Wai Chim, this book brings us insight. Freedom Swimmer is a celebration of every person who has gone to extraordinary lengths to attain freedom for themselves and their families. ★★★★ Allen & Unwin $16.99 Reviewed by Wendy Noble Age guide 12+ Malkin Moonlight Emma Cox Malkin didn’t have a happy first life. Thrown into the river by the Owners when he was just a kitten, it was a miracle he didn’t lose all nine lives at the time. But he’s a survivor, and the moon believes that Malkin has greatness in him. He meets Roux, a domestic cat, and together they embark on adventures. When Roux’s owner moves away, the two cats are devastated by their separation. But both of them search until they find each other again. They join a community of wild cats that live in a recycling centre and they discover serious trouble there. Perhaps Malkin can use his special gifts and abilities to bring about peace. This could be the moment of greatness that the moon has foreseen? Emma Cox was awarded the New Children’s Author Prize 2015 by the British National Literacy Trust for this, her first novel. In this delightful adventure, Cox shows her sensitivity towards cats and the myriad of manner isms and other behaviours that make them unique. But it isn’t just a cute story about felines; there’s a lot for humans to learn from Malkin and his friends; we all need to know how to get along. ★★★★ Bloomsbury $12.99 Reviewed by Wendy Noble Age guide 10+ I promises, life in China is very difficult, especially his parents are dead, Ming has somehow clung meets Roux, a domestic cat, and together they In this delightful adventure, Cox shows her sensitivity towards cats and the myriad of mannerisms and other behaviours that make them unique. But it isn’t just a cute story about felines; there’s a lot for humans to learn from Malkin and his how to get along. ★★★★ Reviewed by Wendy Noble About Emma Cox Emma Cox was born in Bristol, studied English at the University of London, and taught at an international school in Rome. She now lives in Exeter, Devon, where she is the Head of English and Drama at Exeter Cathedral School. She loves endpapers, those leaves of paper that sometimes appear at the start and end of a book and which are often beautifully decorated.
December 2016 - January 2017