Review Blog

Feb 01 2012

Life : an exploded diagram by Mal Peet

cover image

Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 978 1 8442 8100 8.
Recommended for senior secondary students and adults. This book begins and ends with a bang.  A Spitfire shooting a chimney pot to pieces in 1945 and the World Trade Centre exploding in 2001.
In between is a thoroughly enjoyable story, largely about Clem, a working class boy and Frankie, daughter of a wealthy local landowner.  Interspersed with this are the evolving stories of their families especially Clem's. As well there is as a background the developing missile crisis in Cuba in 1962.
The relationship that develops between Clem and Frankie is both touching and hilarious at least to the reader. The author handles the various components of the book with great skill and melds them together into a whole that is entertaining, humorous and affirming all at the same time. The characters are extremely well drawn and the observations of life in Britain in the period acutely well done.
I loved this book; it's beautifully written and the author skillfully weaves everything together to produce an outstanding reading.
David Rayner

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees
CBCA shortlists 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 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