Scholastic 2013 18.50pb 175 pages
ISBN 978 1 7754 3132 9
To be published May 1st.
Themes: Bullying/ Grandfathers/ Horse riding/ High school life/ Mental illness/ Secrets/ Swimming training
Con, who tells his own story, is a regular NZ guy aged around 13 who is into swimming training in a big way, looking at girls from a distance, tormenting his older sister and generally enjoying himself. Then into his life comes Bex and most importantly Bex’s grandfather who has a secret from the past which is making him act in what many of the kids at school feel is a totally weird way. Although the reader learns some of the details of the secret about three quarters of the way through the story they are not prepared for the ending that leaves us feeling sad for a life lost. Con is an appealing hero and there are many laugh out loud moments – especially an incident when Con has reluctantly been forced up on the back of an extra large horse but is totally uncertain about how to get down again. As in so many of David Hill’s books, there is a wonderful ‘last liner’ and, as usually happens, the reader goes away feeling satisfied with a well-told story that has held their interest to the end..
Year 6 up/ Age 10 up