Review Blog

Aug 22 2018

Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr

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Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760297879
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: Disasters, Crete - History, Survival, Ancient Civilisation. This is a very touching story about one girl's inner strength, and how when faced with life-changing problems she was able to overcome the odds to keep her family alive. Leira who was born to be a priestess finds herself in a situation that was beyond anything she could imagine.
Her home is hit by a huge earthquake that leaves everything she knows in pieces, including her mother. She is forced to do what she can to keep her mother alive while waiting for help. Leira then finds that she needs to take charge and do something otherwise neither of them will survive.
Leira is reunited with her father and brother who take her, her mother and elderly nurse on their ship across the sea to the land where her other brother lives. When they arrive they find things are not as they seem. When Leira's father and brother set off on their trading mission she is left to look after her injured mother and elderly nurse.
Again another earthquake and again things change for Leira.
Throughout the story Leira learns that she is stronger than she ever realized and she is able to survive against what the goddess can throw at her.
This book is written in a way that draws you in and you just want to keep reading to see what will happen next. There are a number of twists to the story that you will not see coming.
I highly recommend this book 12+. Teacher's notes are available on the publisher's website.
Karen Colliver

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