Review Blog

Aug 19 2018

Brontide by Sue McPherson

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Magabala Books, 2018. ISBN 9781925360929
(Age: 14+) Themes: racism, bullying, peer pressure, indigenous youth. Sue McPherson's "Brontide" is a series of interviews of 4 young teenage boys living in Taralune, Queensland.  Sue acknowledges that her interview technique was "at times, clunky, unconventional and embarrassing".  I believe her natural approach encouraged the boys to speak to her naturally and without inhibition.
The boys aged 12 to 17 were interviewed independently but their stories were intertwined in ways they did not know nor understand.  Each child's stability comes from the love they receive from their various different and unique caregivers.  While the boys have had different upbringings they are all faced with the challenge of finding their own path and who they want to be.  
"Brontide" is a thought-provoking, interesting book, which highlights the complexities of growing up in a small urban town whether you are of Aboriginal heritage or white Australian.
This book would be good for older reluctant readers especially boys. 14+.
Ali Martin

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