Good Reading : July 2017
Our Race for Reconciliation Anita Heiss The year 2000 is a momentous time in Mel’s life. First, the Olympic Games are going to be held in Sydney. Mel’s sure that Cathy Freeman is going to win a gold medal in the games and, one day, she hopes to do the same. She wants to be just like Cathy. Running is her passion. The big Corroboree is also coming up. People from all over Australia – lots of Indigenous people but other Australians as well – are going to come together to march for reconciliation and celebrate Indigenous culture. Mel learns that her Nanna was one of the Stolen Generation. She also learns the importance of saying sorry. But the biggest thing of all is when her idol, Cathy Freeman, visits her school. What a shame it doesn’t turn out the way Mel has dreamed it would. This is a delightful story of a young girl who is obsessed with emulating her idol. It’s about chasing your dreams, believing in yourself and learning to get along with other people, even if they are different from you. It’s an excellent story for schools to use to help their students get an insight into Indigenous culture and learn why reconciliation is important for the health of our society. ★★★ Omnibus $16.99 Reviewed by Wendy Noble Age guide 10+ GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING JULY 2017 58 The Names They Gave Us Emery Lord Lucy has life neatly sorted out. Her boyfriend, Lukas, will probably run for president one day. School is going great, she’s the captain of the swim team and her mother defeated cancer several years ago. At least that’s what they all thought. When the cancer comes back, Lucy’s world is turned upside down. She’s mad at God, her boyfriend is judgemental rather than helpful, and her parents aren’t telling her everything. Her mother asks her to be a counsellor on the Daybreak Camp for troubled kids, rather than spend the summer with the family at the lake. How can she leave her mother? What help can she give these kids when her own head and heart are in turmoil? How will she cope? As it turns out, the troubled kids help her more than she helps them. She experiences the healing love of friendship, the headiness of a new romance, and a more resilient, more realistic faith that will undergird her journey through life. Emery Lord, the author of the brilliant When We Collided, writes stories that sing to our soul. She captures the angst of the teenage years, the sweetness and exhilaration of young love, the strength and complications that family life brings, and the sheer joy of living. The world of the conservative American Christian will be a new experience for many Australian readers but don’t let that deter you. The Names They Gave Us is a sheer delight. ★★★★ Bloomsbury $17.99 Reviewed by Wendy Noble Age guide 12+ YOUNG ADULT WOM word of mouth AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR help her more than she helps them. She experiences the healing love of friendship, the headiness of a new romance, and a more resilient, more realistic faith that will undergird her journey through life. brilliant stories that sing to our soul. She captures the angst of the teenage About Anita Heiss Anita Heiss is an Indigenous author who grew up in the Sydney suburb of Matraville. She has said that love of her writing started when she was a child and would write letters of epic length to her pen friends.