Review Blog

Aug 03 2018

Leave taking by Lorraine Marwood

cover image

University of Queensland Press, 2018. ISBN 9780702260117
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Themes: Death, Leaving home, Family, Connections. "Toby and his mum and dad are leaving their family farm after the death of Toby's younger sister, Leah. Together, they sort through all their belongings and put things aside to sell or throw out. It's a big task, and Toby doesn't want to leave the only place he's called home. As his last day on the farm approaches, Toby has a plan - a plan to say goodbye to all the things and places that mean something special to him and Leah, from the machinery shed and Pa's old truck to the chook house. With the help of his best friend, Trigger the dog, he learns what it means to take your leave." (Publisher)
I found this book to be quite moving and at one time I even had tears in my eyes. Do not be fooled by the cover - it is certainly not a read for the younger audience. I would be recommending if for students aged 11 and up. I am not sure if it resonated with me so much because I grew up on a farm and know the strong attachment one can have to the land or the fact that Toby was having to deal with the death of his younger sister. It evoked real emotion discussion the memories one can have attached to physical things. The journey that Toby takes around the farm is attached to so many happy memories associated with his sister and shows one that although someone is not physically with us anymore, it is so important to hold onto happy memories. The story was written in verse which I am not normally a fan of but I really enjoyed it. It touches on themes such as leaving, death, family and connections.
Kathryn Schumacher

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