As far as English teachers go, I could do worse than Mr Hammer. He’s a smart guy with a good haircut and an admiral passion for punctuation. He’s taught me since the start of high school and I have only two misgivings: his views on the semicolon and the fact he ruined my life.
To be fair, when he paired me with Georgina Trump for a class project probably wasn’t his intention. Class Harmony is Mr Hammer’s big thing, and I understand that bridging the gap between those in the class who carry pink clutch purses and those who don’t is a legitimate part of that.
It was in a similar spirit of goodwill that I decided to make an effort with Georgina. This was despite the fact that when Mr Hammer said, ‘Georgina, you’re with Delilah,’ she pretended not to know who I was, even though we’ve gone to school together for over four years now.
Delilah has more freedom from parental supervision than most 17 year olds. Her father is taking what seems like an adult gap year, extending his overseas trip in the belief that she’s brilliantly managing their café, The Flyway. However, she may have overstated her competence and the café’s success, in her conversations with her travelling father. She may also have overstated her achievements at school. Delilah lurches from disaster to disaster, digging herself deeper into the stories she tells her father, trying to keep ahead of school bullies, manage the challenges at work and trying to contain her growing crush. In her growing desperation, she both needs and rejects the assistance of friends and family.
The Flywheel is the second publication from The Ampersand Project and Hardie Grant Egmont. This debut young adult novel is both touching and hilarious. Delilah is a delightful mix of wisdom and naivete, bravery and hesitancy, maturity and childlikeness. Her parents are caught up in their own worlds and Delilah is seriously lacking strong role models. Well, actually she’s not – she just needs to work out who she can rely on. And she needs to learn which of her own instincts to trust. The Flywheel is a rollercoaster coming of age story, speeding from highs to low and back again, exploring the nature of friendship, responsibility and love. Recommended for mid secondary readers.
The Flywheel, Erin Gough
Hardie Grant Egmont 2015 ISBN: 9781742978178
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller