About Me

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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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Torn Pages by Sally Grindley

Torn Pages (Bloomsbury, 2009)
   This book made me cry, over and over. But they weren't tears of hopelessness and despair at the young protagonist's miserable situation. They were tears where a smile shone through, with the promise of hope. Sally Grindley has done a terrific job of portraying the plight of children orphaned by AIDS in a village in rural Africa. Straight away we are taken into young Lydia's world of hardship, grief and hunger as she struggles to take on the role of parent to her two younger siblings. Lydia has little to remember her parents by, save for a diary in which her ailing mother wrote words of comfort and encouragement. 
   Poor Lydia has to give up school and outwit her proud and trecherous Grandmother who treats the children as pariahs. And then there is the new man to the village, Jabu, who keeps hanging around. What are his intensions?
   Torn Pages isn't an island story but it is a story about village life and family relationships. There is plenty here for Pacific Island students to relate to. There is water to fetch, a garden to tend and the all too familiar desperate search for transportation when loved ones are sick.
   Although this book is aimed at children in late primary school, I am sure older readers would enjoy it too.

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