Review Blog

Jul 16 2012

The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams

cover image

Penguin, 2012. ISBN 9780143566847.
(Ages: 14+) In this review I am going to give away the big surprise in the plot, so please stop reading if you don't want to know what makes this novel controversial, and a risky choice for some school libraries. Dodie Farnshaw is about to sit her final year exams when her parents go missing in very mysterious circumstances. One of her classmates, Enron, contacts her to say he can help, and that there is a key in a sneaker belonging to her mother that will unlock the mystery. When they investigate the basement they find the well preserved body of Jesus in a coffin. As the baddies close in Dodie, her sister Coco, and three assorted teenage boys take Jesus on a road trip to save him.
The jokes around Jesus are quirky rather than offensive to me, but I know others in my school community that would not see the humour at all. The relationship between Dodie and her sister is believable and appealing but the interest that Dodie shows in the character Jones seems unrealistic, considering the peril they are in as they flee up the coast. Williams writes well and her descriptions of the tunnels of Melbourne, and the small towns Dodie and the other characters find themselves in interesting, but the plot stretches credibility to too great an extent for me.
Chris Lloyd

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
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