BRO by Helen Chebatte
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2016. ISBN 9781760125509
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Bro by Helen Chebatte is a fictional work which explores the racial divide in modern Australia. The story is set in a modern school where racial matters are everything and the slightest insult cannot be tolerated. The author of this review would recommend this novel for those aged 12+.
Romeo Makhlouf is a boy caught in the racial divide in his school, with an Australian mother and an Arabic father. He is a member of the Lebs, one of the four racially divided groups in the school. He knows the rules: do not tolerate insult to your group, and do not be afraid to fight for the honour of your peers.
But when an unfortunate first kiss and the starting of a fight club spark war between the different groups, Romeo does not know on which side to stand; with the Lebs, where he has belonged all of his life, or with the Ozzies, where he has found both love and hate?
BRO demonstrates how foolish it is to focus on race, and the consequences of doing so.
Jos A. (Student, Year 10)