Review Blog

Jun 15 2010

I love you Zelda Bloo by Gretel Killeen

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Penguin, 2010. ISBN 9780143011606.
This is a story about a helicopter crash. The story begins in the back of the crashed helicopter, with the heroine of the story, Zelda, struggling for her life and her mother and the pilot dead.
Zelda has a conversation with an imaginary person in the corner to explain how she has ended up in a crashed helicopter. She has an older brother and sister and her Dad directs movies. Zelda's parents divorced when she was 5 after her Dad ran off with one of his movie stars. 'Essentially since Dad divorced her all those years ago, Mum had been like a walking broken heart'. (pg 34)
After reading an article in the National Geographic, her mother decides she wants to make a documentary about child soldiers and  takes Zelda with her to the mountains to interview the child soldiers.  After days of haggling with the pilot, Zelda and her mother set off in the helicopter to find the child soldiers; Zelda dressed in gold stilettos, a daffodil hat and a bikini. The helicopter crashes. The pilot dies and Zelda half pushes him out of the plane. Her mother dies too. She finds a gun in her Mum's back pack which she accidentally shoots and the animals hovering round the wrecked helicopter run away. Then a boy appears. 'He was a boy as in 'not yet a man'. (pg 107)
Zelda pulls out the original National Geographic article from her Mum's backpack and decides from the likeness of the photo in the article that the boy is 'Saro Ecka, leader of the fearsome child warriors'. (pg108) Zelda then thinks about killing herself when she finds a gun in the helicopter. She does manage to shoot and injure Saro with the gun but then she realises that she needs Saro to stay alive until they get rescued.
The story ends where it began in the back of the helicopter. Zelda dreams that she jumps out of the helicopter and runs away with Saro.
Zelda's responses to the situation could be seen as humorous probably depending on the reader's age. Some may find this story gruesome.
Jenny Brisbane

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