Five Things They Never Told Me
Puffin 2015 $17.99pb 293pp
ISBN 978 0 1413 5864 2
Themes: Family life/ First person narratives/ Friendship/ Old Age/ Separated parents/ Retirement homes
Erin, who I guess to be about twelve going on thirteen, is learning to live with her father after her mother has left the family home to be with the saddest looking man I ever saw and his two sons. It’s not going very well and worse is to come after Erin steals some money and credit cards from her father’s wallet, spends up Big (included is an iPad upon which she has her name engraved so it can’t be returned). In order to keep an eye on her Erin’s father takes her with him for the six weeks of the summer holidays to his job at a retirement home where he is caretaker and gardener. Here it is Erin meets Martha – wheelchair bound, in her eighties, dying and with a wicked sense of humour and a zest for life. There is so much to think about and understand here but never at the expense of story which is told with a light but believable touch.
Year 7 up/ Age 11 up