The rage of sheep by Michelle Cooper

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15 year old Hester is not having a good time. Her best friend has moved to another town, the religion obsessed class nerd (Joshua) keeps talking to her, her father, the bank manager is to present the maths medals, and she is one of the recipients and she is struck by the casualness of the racist remarks of her so called friends, when they talk about wogs, but then hasten to add that they are not talking about her. So all in all, she's not enjoying herself, but then when the science teacher pairs her with Joshua, she is appalled.

Michelle Cooper has written a very witty story about growing up and coping with all that life throws at you, The rage of sheep, concerns itself with the change of attitudes coming to the fore in the 1980's. Being an outsider, not only because of how you look, but your sexuality or your religion is explored in this school based story. Two gay teachers have had enough of the parochial attitudes of some of the staff, rumours spread like wildfire, each version adding more to the tale, and Hester must learn not to follow the sheep. Girls particularly in lower secondary school will enjoy the ride.

Fran Knight