Review Blog

Jan 11 2010

Magenta McPhee by Catherine Bateson

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Random House Australia, 2009. ISBN 9781741664089
(Ages 10 to 14 years) Highly recommended. Magenta sends off a letter to Sammi magazine outlining how depressed her Dad has become after his divorce. Thrilled that her letter is published, with a commendation about her writing style, she decides to confide in her best friend. Polly is convinced that Magenta will make a writer one day, but, in the meantime suggests that internet dating may be the answer for Magenta's Dad! The two girls take this on without telling him!
Lianna is the lady who replies to 'Dad's' emails and a meeting is arranged, with the consequences proving very interesting! The human interest in this story will make it a popular read. Character backgrounds discovered along the way keep the reader involved.
Magenta is writing a fantasy story and we are given snippets of this as she uncovers new material for her novel.
I enjoyed viewing the interactions between the variety of realistic characters and sharing their disappointments and laughter. Catherine Bateson has a great turn of phrase; an easy, relaxed writing style, and her storyline is captivating.
As we have come to expect from Catherine Bateson's novels, the dialogue is appealing and the themes pertinent to today's teens.
Julie Wells

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