A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Australia

Bleakboy and Hunter stand out in the rain

Herrick, Steven (text)
St Lucia, Queensland: UQP University of Queensland Press, 2014. – 200 p.
ISBN 978-0-7022-5016-3

Alternative School – Bullying – Friendship – Otherness – Charity 

Eleven-year-old Jesse has a few problems to deal with: He tries hard to fit in at his new, alternative school; the school bully, Hunter, is giving him a hard time; and his atheist parents aren’t particularly happy that he frequently seeks advice from his imaginary friend Trevor (who is actually a poster of Jesus Christ hanging on his bedroom wall). Absent fathers, bullying, friendship, family disagreements, and an attempt to save the whales and help a starving Ethiopian boy – to most people, this probably doesn’t sound like the ideal ingredients for an entertaining read; yet this latest offering by renowned poet and verse-novel-author Steven Herrick is both hilarious and thoughtful. Written from two alternating points of view – Jesse’s perspective told in first-person narrative and that of Hunter in third person – the book includes a cast of believable characters and lightens the serious issues it tackles with the perfect amount of silliness to please younger and older readers alike. (Age: 8+)