Of fairies, family and moving homes

plenty by anandaTITLE = PLENTY 

AUTHOR = ANANDA BRAXTON-SMITH

GENRE = REFUGEES, MIGRATION, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILIES, GROWING UP  

INTEREST LEVEL = YEAR 7

Maddy is angry, very angry. Her parents have decided to move from inner city Melbourne out to the country and they haven’t consulted her. Up until now, Maddy has loved her home: knowing all her neighbours (and their pets), with a close group of friends and happy rituals that have made her feel like queen of her surrounds.

Uprooted from all she loves, Maddy maintains her rage: angry with her parents and her grandma (whose early dementia is part of the reason for her move). But at her new (and very small) country school Maddy meets Grace, tall, willowy and equally uprooted; from war-torn Sudan she has travelled to rural Victoria yet in the face of considerable hardship, she simply smiles.

Can Maddy learn something from Grace? And will she forgive her grandma and be open to all she has to teach … especially when they seem to share a fondness for fairies ?

This is a gentle and enchanting story about growing up, families and the vulnerability of children. With a satisfying ending … credible and vibrant characters in Maddy, Grace and Maddy’s Greek grandma. Young readers will enjoy this little book … and it may just make them think a little more deeply about family, refugees and friendship.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****   

A Great Graphic Novel

Artemis Fowl (Graphic Novel version) (COL)
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic novel, Adventure
Interest level: Years 8 and up

This is an excellent graphic novel adaptation of a much-loved novel. Great use of contrasting colours to highlight the two parts of the story; the Fairy world is blue/green whilst Artemis’ world is generally toned in browns. The basic story line remains the same as the original novel (by Eoin Colfer): a child genius, who happens to be a criminal, plots to get fairy gold by holding a fairy to ransom. There is an interesting mix of fairies & magic & modern gadgetry in the story which includes several clever twists and turns. Whilst Artemis’ home life is sad (his Dad is missing, assumed dead, and his Mum seems to have lost her mind) there is also plenty of sardonic humour to keep the reader entertained.

Recommended (dma) ****