“Don’t judge me, bitch. This is a high-stress situation.” - Frankie, p. 9. Shivaun Plozza’s debut YA novel 'Frankie' (Penguin, April 2016) will slice you like an electric knife through kebab meat. The title character’s sassiness, cynicism, mistrust and anger hooked me immediately, and I seesawed between wanting to hug her and boot her up the backside throughout the book. The writing is smooth and immediate, and pinballed me around the full range of the emotional spectrum. Fra
Forever Judy Blume Macmillan (2015 reprint) My son pulled 'Forever' off a shelf in a bookstore. It was next to Enid Blyton in the young readers’ section. He thought I’d like it because it had a cherry on the front, and I like cherries. He’s a young, innocent child. Thoughtful – but innocent. Judy Blume’s 'Forever' was a groundbreaking text for teenagers when it was released in the 1970s, and I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t read it. Sure, I knew what it was about – who hadn’t hear
We’re sending our children mixed messages. On one hand – be confident to be yourself. On the other – don’t be too much like yourself, because difference is something to be feared.
Between the failings raised by the current inquiry into institutionalised child abuse, the treatment of asylum-seeker children in offshore detention centres and the attacks on the Safe Schools program,which provides “resources and support to equip staff and students with skills, practical ideas an