Maximus by Steve Heron

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Ill. by Tash Macfarlane. Serenity Press, 2018. ISBN 9780648146612
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Animal-human relationships, Friendship, Bullying. "Mitch says stuff sucks. His life has been turned upside down since his dad started working FIFO at the mines.
From a messy bedroom to a close footy match; an annoying little sister to incredible Anzac projects; losing friends and losing face, Mitch deals with an explosion of feelings associated with bullying, fighting, suspension, family conflict and his first crush, all in the space of eight days.
Will an encounter with a surprising new feathered friend and the reliability of old ones help Mitch get his mojo back?" (Publisher)
You never quite know where the help or support you need is going to come from. This is exactly what happened to Mitch, as far as Mitch was concerned life sucked and that was just how it was. Through an incredible friendship with the most unlikely character Mitch was able to start seeing life in a different way. He was able to look at things through new eyes, and experience things in a different way. This allowed Mitch to start to enjoy life in a way he hadn't for a long time.
Mitch is a very believable character with family problems that could be happening in any home. This book showed Mitch that there are things that happen that he doesn't understand but still impact on his life, and he learnt the importance of talking about problems with someone to help work through them.
This is a well-written book and I would highly recommend this book to children aged 10+. Resources on the publisher's website include: Maximus class activity, teacher's notes and curriculum notes.
Karen Colliver