Review Blog

Sep 27 2007

Opal dream by Ben Rice

cover image

Random House Australia, 2006

Age 12+ The film tie-in of the story originally titled Pobby and Dingan tells the story of Ashmol, an 11 year old boy and his sister Kellyanne who inhabits a fantasy world with her two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan. After her father fails to bring her invisible friends back from the opal mine, Kellyanne insists that he goes to search for them. He strays onto another miner's claim, and is accused of 'ratting'. Kellyanne, grieving for her lost friends, becomes seriously ill and Ashmol, in a desperate bid to help her get well, organises the whole town to search for Pobby and Dingan.

Rice captures the atmosphere of the Australian outback in this quirky and moving story. The story is told by Ashmol, who loves his sister but considers her a 'fruit-loop'. All the characters are vivid and real. This story would perhaps respond to being read out loud and could promote much discussion about imagination, dreams and the power of love.

Contained in the same volume is another novella, Specks in the Sky, set in a camel safari centre in America. A mother and her two daughters see specks in the sky which turn out to be a team of crack parachutists who have bailed out during a top- secret mission. Questions are raised about identity and family relations in this unusual story.

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
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