Goldie Roth struggles with the constraints (both literal and otherwise) that are placed on her by her family and her community. She knows they are for her own good, to protect her from any danger or evil that she might encounter. But in Jewel, the line between protection and oppression has been crossed, and Goldie has to break free. When she does, she discovers the Museum of Dunt, a place full of magic and mystery…
In those days, the museum had four keepers – Herro Dan, Olga Ciavolga, Sinew, and the boy Toadspit. In ordinary times, they would have been enough to keep the museum and its secrets safe. But these were not ordinary times.
Trouble was coming. The signs were unmistakable. The keepers did not know where it was coming from, or when it would strike. But it was clear that it would not be easily stopped.
Using all his skills of Concealment, Sinew set out to find a child who could be trained as an extra keeper. Six of the children he spied on turned out to be unsuitable. The seventh (according to her official file) was disobedient and wilful. She had worn the punishment chains three times already, and the year had barely begun.
Goldie Roth struggles with the constraints (both literal and otherwise) that are placed on her by her family and her community. She knows they are for her own good, to protect her from any danger or evil that she might encounter. But in Jewel, the line between protection and oppression has been crossed, and Goldie has to break free. When she does, she discovers the Museum of Dunt, a place full of magic and mystery. There she meets the keepers, those who look after the museum. The museum is a place unlike any Goldie has encountered, with shifting rooms and danger. Goldie and the keepers must protect the museum, and by doing so, protect themselves, their families and the rest of Jewel.
There are many who suggest that children today are so over-protected that they lack the opportunities to develop their own sense of reality, danger and independence. In Jewel, the children are protected fiercely, so that they not fall prey to mythical beasts, environmental hazards (like water) or any other danger. To that end, those who question or baulk at the loving restraints are punished by Guardians. Parents are full of fearful love, and the Guardians work to squash any sense of rebellion. Museum of Thieves is a wild adventure about the dangers of too much protection, too much containment. But it’s also about the endurance and resilience of children who, given encouragement, are capable of anything. A terrific read, for upper primary and beyond. Look out for instalment two of this adventure, The City of Lies, now on sale.
Museum of Thieves (The Keepers), Lian Tanner
Allen & Unwin 2011
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Some people have more than one thing they are good at. Mr Tripp tells good jokes and has a clever nose. His nose can tell you what’s in your sandwich without even looking.
Lily’s teacher, Mr Tripp, says everyone is good at something. Mr Tripp himself is good at tow things – he can tell good jokes and he has a clever nose. When Ricky Rider’s pet rat escapes in the classroom next door, Mr Tripp must use his nose to sniff out the rat’s hiding spot. But is he brave enough?
Mr Tripp Smells a Rat is a cute collection of three short stories set in a junior primary classroom with Lily, her classmates and the funny Mr Tripp. Each story is self contained, but the three together build a picture of a happy, nurturing classroom that every child will wish was theirs.
Part of the Walker Stories series for emergiing readers, Mr Tripp Smells a Rat uses simple text and lots of illustrative support to help readers succeed.
Mr Tripp Smells a Rat, by Sandy McKay, illustrated by Ruth PaulISBN 9781921529061
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
From the time the Earth was formed four billion years ago, until the present day, Valley of Goldtraces the story of one valley – the Araluen Valley, where author Jackie French has lived for most of her life.
Although the valley is real, the stories in Valley of Gold are fictional, because, as French says, if the neighbours recognise themselves they might throw stones at my windows. Although they aren’t true, the stories could have happened and the characters could have existed, because each story is set in a different period of the valley’s history.
From the hunting of the last ‘tiger’ in 35 000 BC, to the discovery of gold in 1853 and on to French’s own golden discoveries in more recent times, each story gives the young reader some insight into life in the valley in the time period in question, as well as a more general awareness of Australian life in those times.
Valley of Gold is great for personal reading, but would also make an excellent classroom resource, especially for classes learning about Gold mining, Australian history, conservation and other topics.
Valley of Gold, by Jackie French
Angus & Robertson (an imprint of Harper Collins), 2003