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 13, 2014

Illustrated Myths and Legends of the Pacific by A.W. Reed

Illustrated Myths and Legends of the Pacific
 (2007, Reed Books)
This book is gorgeous because the watercolour illustrations are so realistic and engaging. But the stories also range from humorous, such as the 'Foolish Canoe Paddlers', to dark, such as the story from Vanuatu called the 'Six Men Who Tried to Catch a Sunbeam'. Many Pacific Island nations are  represented. Although Tuvalu and Kiribati miss out for some reason.
   Jennifer Cooper is the illustrator and she has done a tremendous job. Even on pages without a major illustration, she has created borders or motifs at the edge of the text, that depict island lifestyles.
   A wonderful children's book and a great resource for teachers who need to implement a bit of Pasifika into the curriculum.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

(Indigo, 2011)
On a remote island called Blessed, newcomer Eric and local girl Merle are falling in love. But Eric can't help feeling he's been there before, and Merle seems so familiar, so beautiful, so enticing...
It turns out Eric has been to Blessed before. Midwinterblood is set in seven different times telling the story of Eric and Merle. Centuries ago they were King and Queen of the island, but famine and disease led the superstitious villagers to sacrifice the king.  As he died he swore he would live seven lives and his queen swore she would follow him. What follows is a creepy, but beautifully crafted tale of reincarnation, love and sacrifice.
   Marcus Sedgwick is a master of creepy tales and this is no exception. His depiction of the island is eerie in itself. There are no children. A mysterious purple-black flower with narcotic and healing properties grows freely and hares roam the island. Although both of these seem innocent enough, their recurring use throughout the book over each of the lives of Eric and Merle, lends a spooky tone to the novel.
   A terrific read from a gothic master, this book is well worth reading.