AUTHOR = BILL CONDON
GENRE = GROWING UP, FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, FRIENDSHIP,
INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10 – 12
This is an engaging and moving story. Until now, life for Tiff has been pretty routine, growing up near the quiet town of Gungee Creek, even if her “family tree is kind of twisty-turny”. She has been raised by Reggie and Nell, family friends of her aunt, who took her in as a baby when her Mum died. Now her only surviving “family” are Reggie, who she views as a kind of grandfather, and Bull, Reggie’s stepson and the local cop, who is the closest thing she has to a father.
However, life is about to change for Tiff. Firstly, she has just finished Year 12 and is about to start work experience at the local newspaper. As a book worm, Tiff fancies herself as a writer and hopes for a cadetship at the paper (the first step to becoming a journalist). But starting a job is still a big step … and Tiff soon finds that journalism may not be an easy path – especially when she has to work with “The Shark”. Then, her best (and only) friend, Kayla, suddenly announces that she is moving away – and not just to a new town, but right across the country to WA. To add to her uncertainty, Tiff meets an unusual boy named Davey – does he present the possibility of her first romance? And, of course, there is the worry about Reggie’s health.
Tiff is a gentle, kind and thoughtful girl, a bit shy and a bit uncertain about life… but who isn’t at 17 years of age? And the other characters in the book are equally credible and engaging; Bull in particular providing some gentle Aussie humour. However, be warned, you may need the tissue box handy towards the end of the novel.
No wonder this book was shortlisted, CBCA Book of the Year, OR (2012)
Highly Recommended (dma) *****