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All reviews tagged with Susanna Coghlan

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Caught in the Crossfire

Set in the fictional English town of Oldfield, this novel explores some of the racial tensions which surfaced in Britain after the devastating events of September 11th 2001. It is focused mostly around two families. Mike’s family are from the white, working-class Moorside estate; Rabia’s family are Muslims and they live in the ethnically mixed…

Exodus

On the North Atlantic island of Wing, after the polar ice caps have melted and most of the world has become submerged, 15-year-old Mara’s only contact with the world outside the island is through a small orb called a cyberwhizz. It allows her to travel the cyber highways of ‘the Weave’, through a form of…

Lucas

The mysterious and attractive Lucas immediately ignites Caitlin’s interest when she sees him walking along the narrow spit connecting her island home to the mainland. Lucas lives rough, surviving off what he can get from the land and the small income he earns odd jobbing. His feral lifestyle has left him free from the imagined…

Mad Dog McGraw

Mad Dog McGraw is a refreshing read, revealing the satisfaction of making a friend of a former enemy. Monks’s illustrations are full of energy and enhance the quirky tone of Uhlberg’s narrative as the story twists and turns through the book. She creates an effervescent combination of paintwork and collage taken from a range of…

Petar’s Song

The location of this story is never named but the landscape and the features of the people suggest somewhere in the Balkan area. Petar is a musically talented young boy who entertains his village with the tunes he plays on his violin. When war breaks he and his younger brother and sister must flee with…

The Bush

Joyce is delighted when her mother brings home two fluffy white rabbits to breed. Mother tells her children that she will earn money by rearing rabbits and then bringing them to ‘The Bush’. Joyce works hard caring for the rabbits and develops a bond with one particular rabbit she calls Kipenzi (meaning favourite). The reader,…

The Shell House

With all the subtlety and sureness of an experienced writer, Newbery interweaves deliberations on religion, sexuality, morality, war and class in this mature, carefully constructed and many-layered novel. Graveney Hall, once a mansion with acres of carefully nurtured land, now stands an empty shell, its insides destroyed by a fire in 1917, and its grounds…

The Water Puppets

The Water Puppets provides a brief introduction to life in Vietnam in the 1960s and the complexities of the Vietnam War through the fictional story of Xuan, a 13- year-old boy living in the remote Central Highlands of Vietnam. Xuan’s family want no part in a war in which both American soldiers and Vietnamese forces…

‘The Best Mum’ and ‘The Best Toy’

These two sturdy paperback picturebooks for beginner readers are printed on strong card with rounded child-friendly corners. Both stories are based around the bonds between parent and child. In The Best Toy, Dad and Sam visit the toyshop in search of the best toy. Many are sampled and then rejected until Sam finally selects an…

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