Review Blog

Aug 18 2014

The sequin star by Belinda Murrell

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Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857982056.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Belinda Murrell is an accomplished Australian writer of teen fiction and the Lulu Bell series for younger readers. The Sequin Star is one of several stories that she has written that involve a journey back in time for the young heroine.
In The Sequin Star Claire, while clasping her grandmother's small brooch, is catapulted back to 1932. Stranded in a place and time that is unfamiliar to her, Claire takes on a job with the Sterling Brothers Circus and befriends young performers Rosina and Jem. Even though she is desperate to find a way to return to her own time, Claire is fascinated by the people she meets and thoroughly enjoys being part of the circus family. As it becomes obvious that a young man, Kit Hunter, is besotted with Rosina, Claire watches on with apprehension. After all, Kit Hunter is destined to become her grandfather and she worries that Rosina may become more than a friend to Kit.
Kit is the son of a very wealthy businessman in Sydney and young Rosina is quite flattered by the attention. Kit invites the trio to the opening of the newly constructed Sydney Harbour bridge and then later to a ball at his family home. When Kit disappears in mysterious circumstances and a ransom note is discovered, Claire, Rosina and Jem become desperately worried and frantically try to find him.
Time travel always makes for a fascinating storyline and when Belinda skillfully adds the dimension of actual historical events, she delivers a truly wonderful story. Her depiction of Australia during the Great Depression years is illuminating as she portrays the extent of poverty experienced by many families. The young reader, as well as Claire, also learns of Australia's brush with communism and the formation of the New Guard by Colonel Eric Campbell. This is a great read for those young girls who still want to believe in magic!
Lyn Poole

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