Review Blog

Feb 10 2012

Things a map won't show you edited by Susan La Marca and Pam Macintyre

cover image Penguin, 2012 ISBN 978 0 14 3583 4.

(Ages 11+) Recommended. Short story collection. Subtitled, Stories from Australia and beyond this tantalising collection of short stories, poetry and a graphic story is just what is needed for the classroom and is presented with an eye catching cover, sure to have 'grab me' appeal. With stories from favourite writers such as Sonya Hartnett, Chris Wheat, Paul Jennings and Michael Pryor, the mix is intoxicating. One story from Ruth Starke tells of the NIPS team going to play a team in a refugee community, learning that playing the game is far more important than losing on purpose. Another from Ursula Dubosarsky tells of being sick on Australia Day, another from Oliver Phommavanh shows us a blind date with Wendy, while Paul Jenning's story tells of the sale of a dozen roses.
Stories by Pat Lowe and Jimmy Pike sit alongside verse stories by Doug McLeod and Jane Godwin, while a story from New Guinea by Samson Tavatt will intrigue. I laughed out loud at Chris Wheat's instructions from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on how to kiss, and shed a tear for the bandy legged cat in Pat Lowe's story, Yinti's kitten, and the humour in the verse story of Mary standing on her head, by Jane Godwin impelled me read it again out loud.
Altogether a surprising mix of works that will dazzle and amaze readers in middle school, these will be well used as a basis for discussion, models for their own writing or just to read a favourite author. This is a stand out collection and will serve the needs of teachers looking for an engaging set of stories to have in the classroom.
Fran Knight

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