Review Blog

Aug 28 2014

Calypso summer by Jared Thomas

cover image

Magabala Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922142122.
(Age: Upper Secondary students) Well recommended.
A strong storyline with feisty young indigenous characters buoys this novel along. It's told with candid humour in modern, young adolescents' language; often funny and insightful, with clever use of local language. Calypso is a dreadlocked urban Nukunu who finds work in a health food store. The owner is looking for a way to sell natural remedies. This leads Calypso on a journey to the Southern Flinders Ranges, thanks to his mother, to source local plants. On the way he becomes fascinated with his heritage, especially his family and their stories. He meets Clare, a Ngadjuri girl who loves and is as knowledgeable about cricket as he is. Their pathway weaves from family stories to a cousin and friend caught up in smoking and selling ganja, to a run in with the police and a strengthening of their relationship. The story 'explores the universal theme of the multiple cultural influences bearing down on young people and the need to draw from the best traditional and modern knowledge to address social issues. It also reflects on the way Aboriginal people aligned with people of the Caribbean through their cricketing prowess and reggae music.' Media Release.
Sue Nosworthy

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