Review Blog

Mar 07 2014

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick

cover image

Re-print. University of Queensland Press, 2014. ISBN: 978070223133.
The Simple Gift gives us as readers a unique reading experience, a story told through a series of short, easy to read poems which have nothing to do with the sometimes tedium of traditional poetry. Poems written by the hand of three different characters tell Billy's story about running away from home, from beatings and the antics of his drunkard father.
Hoboism is a lifestyle choice for some, usually for those who are trying to escape their past; this is the case for sixteen-year old Billy as he walks down the lonesome highway away from his Wentworth life taking with him the remainder of his dad's alcohol and smokes out of spite. He finds himself in a small town called Bendarat where he makes himself shamelessly comfortable in an old train carriage. It is a new home free from the fear and violence of his past. He lives off leftovers from McDonald's and his fifty-dollar savings fund while making friends with a few choice locals including the local librarian Irene, Old Bill who is a fellow hobo and high-school student Caitlin who mops the floors and watches him as he waits patiently for his dinner.
The Simple Gift is just that, a gift; wonderfully written and easy to read this engrossing book is filled with all of the description and emotion attributed to poetry without the assumed tedium. I would highly recommend this to young adolescents who do not like to read (and even those that do). It is easy to forget that this is a book filled with poems about growing up and finding oneself and slip into the shoes of Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin as they enjoy the pure pleasure of having nothing and giving all.
Kayla Gaskell

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