Review Blog

Sep 27 2007

Cold skin by Steven Herrick

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2007
(Age Senior school) Herrick's finely tuned verse novels are deceptively simple, as they describe a setting, elucidate a set of characters, unfold a plot, while you are lulled by the rhythmic nature of the writing. Before you know it you are engrossed, surprising yourself as you see links and plot developments, character foibles and hints of what may be ahead.

Larry and Eddie Holding are at school, a one teacher place, but they'd rather be working at the mine like everyone else in this one job town. Their father, a returned serviceman, is dejected; feeling cowardly because he didn't see overseas action during the war, and despite their poverty, will not allow his sons to go down the mine.

The small town is delineated by its inhabitants, a mayor who runs the local store, rich and proud, a policeman who wants to do well for his town, a teacher disenchanted with rural life and the lack of women, a publisher who sees all, and goes about his job quietly. When one night a young girl is found murdered, the town looks inward, closing ranks. Malice and suspicion ferments as Eddie watches, noting movement, the other watchers, the drunks and then his father, hiding something and unable to be at peace.

The climax of the story will shock and extend your students' discussions of right and wrong, of consequences and morality.
Fran Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates