Review Blog

Jan 08 2014

Losing Reuben by Leonie Norrington

cover image

Ill. by Beth Norling. Mates series. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742990224.
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family.
When Mum and Dad and the kids go fishing at One Mile Creek, Mum counts the children as they have a large family. Even though Reuben is number nine, he knows that he is as loved as everyone else. This time however, Mum has had another baby.
While at One Mile Creek, Dad takes them fishing, showing the children how to use the net to catch enough for the family for tea. And this time, Reuben, the youngest is to be the anchor. He is rather concerned. He has never done this before, and he is aware that his small undeveloped frame may not be strong enough to hold the net.
But it all goes well, and after a big feed, they all lie down for an afternoon nap. Packing up, Mum counts them all in, one to nine but halfway home, remembers Reuben, number nine and that she now has ten. So back they go, finding Reuben where they left him, Reuben taking note of the rules Dad has insisted they follow, to stay calm and stay where they are. All is well.
In a few words, Leonie outlines this wonderful tale of a family on a fishing trip. The closeness of the family is obvious all the way through, their knowledge of the elders being passed on to the younger, Dad teaching his children all the while some survival skills.
One of the popular Mates series, this will be a wonderful addition to any library.
Fran Knight

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