Review Blog

Mar 17 2009

Screw loose by Chris Wheat

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(read by Kellie Jones) Louis Braille Audio, 2008. ISBN 978174212196. 7 and a half hours on 7 discs
(Ages 12+)Highly recommended. Chris Wheat's funny and wry look at a group of students at Vistaview High School is brought laughingly to life with Kellie Jones' fast and furious reading. The pace of Kellie's voice suits the story well, as the students rush from one chaotic incident to another, from the classroom to the river, to Chelsea's house, back to the river, to Zee's house, where Angelo is hiding in the cupboard, to the principal's office where Chelsea is pitching the idea of a school rowing team, similar to the one at her private school, from which she has been expelled. It's a breathless and highly entertaining look at a disparate group of kids finding their way in life.
The story opens with Angelo, recently made a Cockatoo, a member of the AFL young guns team, trying out for the real thing from their headquarters in Tasmania. He has fallen foul of the hierarchy and they are making demands that he ditch his strange girlfriend and take someone more normal, someone they will choose. His Turkish girlfriend cannot be seen with him, lest her parents find out and send her back to Turkey to live with her grandmother. Their friend Craig has a girlfriend, Matilda, recently brought back to civilization from the desert, where she was brought up by dingoes. She happily licks and sniffs people, and rolls over for her stomach to be scratched.
This unlikely group of students will have you and your class laughing out loud as they try to set up a rowing team, evade Zee's parents, cope with their parents' separation and stage an event between the state school and two private schools in the area, aiming for communication between the 3 schools. And all brilliantly brought to life with this pacy and involving reading by Kellie Jones.
Fran Knight

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