A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Australia

Calypso summer

Thomas, Jared (text)
Broome, Western Australia: Magabala Books, 2014. – 224 p.
ISBN 978-1-92214212-2

Aboriginal community – Cultural heritage – Search for identity – Racism – Drug dealing – First love 

With his long dreadlocks, his love of reggae music, a cannabis-smoking habit, and his fake Caribbean accent, Kyle – better known as Calypso – plays the role of relaxed Rastafarian quite convincingly. Yet now that high school is over, the young Aborigine struggles to find out who he is and where he belongs. When his boss at the local health food shop starts pestering him about traditional medicinal plants, Calypso decides to get back in touch with his extended Nukunu family, their land, and their culture. This engaging book was the 2013 winner of the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project – and rightly so. It features an authentic first-person narration interspersed with plenty of dialogue and paints a convincing portrait of an Aboriginal Australian city boy. Jared Thomas has created a universally appealing yet at the same time distinctly Australian coming-of-age novel that tackles a lot of problems that the indigenous community is facing. (Age: 14+)