About Me

My photo
Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale

This is the first book I've ever read that makes an issue of shaved heads. At first I thought it was a bit comical, a quirky detail of the plot that added interest. It wasn't until things sped up in the second half of the book that I realised how central and symbolic the shaving issue was to the people of Taris.

Juno of Taris (Random House, 2008)
    Taris is a future world, a biosphere dome set over an island in the Southern Ocean. The dome is populated by 500 people who are self-sufficient and peaceful, but whose elders harbour deep secrets.
Juno is twelve when she first starts to question the rules of Taris. But with the questioning brings danger. The rulers of the dome are watching her and Juno is certain they mean to kill her. But Juno has a band of loyal friends who support and protect her as the dome's technology starts to fail. Together they uncover the secrets that have bound the people of Taris for generations.
   This is a good story for younger teenagers as it brings up issues such as conforming and family loyalty. The pace is quite slow at the start but once the action takes off it's hard to put down. The large cast of unusual names is a bit difficult to stomach but there is a list of key characters at the beginning of the book which helps confused readers.
   At the end of each chapter are three paragraphs which convey the daily gossip of the dome. As a literary device it works really well, giving out background information and showing the society's values and fears.
   If you don't like science fiction then give it a miss, but I found it a delightful story about a gutsy heroine who is determined to uncover the truth. This book won the Ester Glen Award in 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment