Whispering, Bullying and Mum and Me

These books were reviewed on ABC Radio Canberra Drive Show with Louise Maher on Tuesday June 22 2010

Books reviewed by Deborah Abela, National Literacy Ambassador and

Author of Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series and The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen.


Mum and Me written and Illustrated by Annie White

(Hachette Children’s Books)

Picture Book Pre-school age

This book is a delightful rhyming devotion to mothers and all that they do that makes them special. From when ‘she takes me to my ballet lessons. And listens to my trumpet sessions.’ To when ‘She takes me riding on her bike and joins in all the games I like.’  It’s the little things mums do that count in this small storyteller’s life, like making vegemite toast, blowing bubbles, jumping and splashing in puddles and of course, giving lots of cuddles. ‘And when Mum tucks me in at night I know that it will be all right. ‘Cause I love Mum and she loves me and that’s the way it will always be.’ Simple, fun and all about mums and why they’re so loveable.

Arnie Avery written by Sue Walker

(Walker Books)

Novel ages 8-12

Arnie Avery is having a bad time of it. Not only have his usual group of friends dumped him, he realises Jacko isn’t just the leader, but a bully and now wants to fight him on Saturday, his birthday! Not that anyone will remember. His family is acting weird and have been ever since what happened to Arnie’s brother, Callum, one regular day that turned everything upside-down. He desperately misses Callum and no matter how hard his mum and dad try, they just can’t seem to get back to how they used to be. As Saturday approaches, Arnie knows Jacko will pulverise him in a second if he doesn’t come up with a plan. With the help of dad, his best friend Belly and, surprisingly, his usually not so sisterly sister, Arnie not only takes on Jacko but he becomes a hero to his family, his friends and even himself. This is a terrifically written, warm story about a boy who faces a volley of life’s curve balls head on. It’s about grief, friendship, family, bullying and finding your way again after life leaves you feeling lost.

Let Me Whisper You My Story written by Moya Simons

(Harper Collins)

Novel ages 8-12

Many stories have been written about the Holocaust but what makes this one special is that it focuses on the people who hid and protected Jewish people during that time and it’s written by masterful storyteller, Moya Simons. Rachel is a young German Jew living in Leipzig when the wars breaks out. Her family are forced from their home to a Judenhaus, a place marked for Jews to live, often in cramped, cold and filthy conditions, with ration cards barely enough to keep themselves alive. They do their best to stay positive, until they hear the Germans coming to take them away, but before they do, Rachel’s father helps her into a cupboard and orders to stay silent. Rachel is found by a German family who take her in, knowing this could lead to their deaths. When the war finishes, Rachel is flown to England, to one of the many orphanages who took children in after the war, while the Red Cross tries desperately to find her family and many others. The detail in this book is meticulous and Moya’s storytelling paints such clear pictures of these kids who find themselves in situations of great fear and danger but with extraordinary kindnesses offered to them, they are able to find their way home.


1 Comment

  1. JUDY said,

    January 1, 2011 at 7:22 am




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