Good Reading : December January 2006
58 goodreading ı DECEMBER 2005 • JANUARY 2006 readers’ reviews Here’s a selection of some of the reviews you sent in to us. Keep them coming to: firstname.lastname@example.org A Fish Out of Water Little Girls Lost Losing it Written by Helen Palmer Illustrated by PD Eastman HarperCollins $8.95 Reviewed by Alexander Simpson (aged 5) The story is about a little boy who buys a new fish at the pet shop. This fish is called Otto. The man in the pet shop tells the little boy to feed Otto every day - but not too much. But the boy does not listen and that’s how the story begins. The little boy feeds Otto too much and Otto grows and grows and grows! Otto begins to outgrow every- thing the little boy puts him in! Kids might like to read this book to see the lovely pictures and to see if Otto will ever return to his proper size!The end. Helen Reade Fiddlers Ed McBain Annabel Crabb Picador $25.00 Reviewed by Mark Young Five Mile Press $24.95 Reviewed by Colleen O’Sullivan Orion $29.95 Reviewed by David Lewis This is the 55th novel in the 87th Precinct series, and perhaps the final one: Ed McBain died last year. Fiddlers is, as fans of McBain have come to expect, a fast-paced detective story with dialogue that snaps and crackles, and tension-relieving touches of dry humour. Once again, Steve Carella and his fellow detectives of the 87th have a serial killer to pursue and a puzzling trail to follow. Some very old rocks are tur ned over until a murderer with many personal grudges is exposed. The last pages are a satisfying conclusion to the novel, but not to the stories of the characters of the 87th Precinct. But with the prolific and entertaining McBain gone, is the search for the nemesis of the 87th, the Deaf Man, never to be resolved? Will another writer take up and develop this 49-year-old series? I hope so. Little Girls Lost is a challenge to read even for enthusiasts of the True Crime genre. It details the murders of four Australian girls that occur red from 1974 to 1997. The girls’ photos are on the front cover of the book. Inside are photos of their families, the living victims devastated by crime. Readers lear n grue- some facts yet are rewarded by the high note the book ends on. Life sentence legislation, victim impact statements and the Child Sex Offenders’ Register are among many of the changes in law the families men- tioned in this book have won. Author Helen Reade has ensured that families of the victims are able to tell their stories in her book. Their fight for justice is an inspiring and heartrending experience for readers with a social conscience. This inside story of the Labor party in opposition provides something of an antidote to the poison injected into the body politic by Mark Latham’s diaries. Crabb explains that the prob- lems of Labor in opposition have stemmed not only from lack of leadership but also factionalism, ideology, and the party’s inability to hear from and speak to the diverse elec- torates making up the voting public. The ALP has been insecure in its footing since 1996, marching (when not head-kicking) in bor rowed boots – one Hawke’s and the other Keating’s. Of course, things can change between now and the next federal election. Perhaps Beazley will learn to stride confidently past the flammable mix of Abbot and Costello. In the meantime, Losing it leaves us with a clear and sor ry picture of a political party which energises state and ter ritory gover nments but can barely strike a light in Canberra.