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on Feb. 05, 2013 :
Australian Short Stories for Boys (& Girls) is a collection of adventurous historical fiction stories. Each story has its own life and rhythm. This book takes you from the fanciful, to the silly, to some very serious issues in today’s world. I was captivated by each story in a different way.
My favorite is “Dogalogue”. As a dog owner I often wonder what my dog thinks of our every day actions. Well, this story gives a voice to a spunky Jack Russell terrier named Trixie. She is writing to her owner from doggie heaven and tells of why she did many of the things that normally puzzle us humans. It’s a really cute story that had me giggling the whole way through.
I liked “Game, Set, Match” because it has a wonderful message for young readers. It teaches us to not give up on our dreams no matter what. Even though his school mates were making fun of him, Rafael still practiced as often as possible and studied as much as he could in hopes that he could one day be a ball boy at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
The story that touches my heart the most, though, is “A Long Way to Freedom”. It is about a refugee family of Shi’ite Muslims from Afghanistan. After a long struggle to get to Australia they finally arrive but are only given three years to prove they can live without the governments assistance. They are a good family and if they were to go back to Afghanistan it would mean bad things for the family for reasons the mother mentions in the story. The father is trying his hardest to find good work so he can support his family. I know there are real families like the one in this story going through similar struggles. I pray they find peace and freedom. It doesn’t matter the religion, race, or culture. We are all people and we all deserve peace and freedom.
There are many other stories in Australian Short Stories for Boys (& Girls). I encourage everyone to read them as there is something for everyone in this book. Michael Mardel did an excellent job on all ten stories. You really feel like you know each character personally by the time you are done reading. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.
(reviewed the day of purchase)