Review Blog

Apr 04 2012

Red Dirt Diary 2: Blue about love by Katrina Nannestad

cover image

ABC Books, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7333-3069-8.
(Age: 9-12) Blue (Trudy Alice) Weston continues her diary writing for another year. Obviously book 1, Red Dirt Diary, being her first collection of thoughts about her life on her family's farm, Hillrose Poo.
Blue is now 12 and has to come to terms with the fact that she is going to be a bridesmaid for beloved teacher, Miss McKenzie. It's not only the girly bridesmaid world she has been unwillingly thrown into but also the fact that she is unhappy Miss McKenzie is going to be married and to someone Blue does not approve of. Her best friend Mat (Matilda Jane) is no help as she can't get enough of the wedding preparations.
Blue's family life on the farm with its odd collection of animals is hilarious. Her twin brothers Wez and Fez continue their death defying acts with their pig chariots and the pigs themselves have a bizarre and comical list of behaviours. I laughed out loud during some of the descriptions of (pig) Gunther's antics with his adopted ducklings.
Although there is plenty of humour in the story, there are many poignant moments of sadness and a great sense of caring and understanding is evident in the small farming community of Hardbake Plains.
The first person diary format appeals to students but unlike Diary of a Wimpy Kid there is much more text and only a scattering of line illustrations. Students who loved books such as Penny Pollard's Diary and Audrey of the Outback will happily move on to this longer text.
Both Red Dirt Diaries have a strong Australian flavour and are suitable for 9 to 12 year olds.
Jane Moore

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