Dreamstone, by Helene Smith

I wish I had a friend, just one friend who would listen. I wish I could write a tory, just one story I could finish. I wish everything could be like it was last summer.

Last summer, Lucy had a wonderful time playing with her cousins and enjoying time with her parents. This summer, though, everything is different. Her parents have separated and now Lucy lives in New York with her mum. Home in Australia for a holiday with her dad, Lucy is sad. She wishes she had someone to talk to.

Sometimes, just sometimes, wishes do come true and, when Lucy makes her wish, something strange happens. A bright stone drops from the air and, when she looks after her, it hatches into a tiny being who has come to bring colour back to her life. Lucy has much to learn from Sharni, who gives her strength to face the changes in her life, but the hardest lesson of all might be in letting her friend go when the time comes.

Dreamstone is a charming junior novel from acclaimed South West writer, Helene Smith. The magical Sharni is a delight, with a special appeal in her language – her fingers are ‘touching ends’, and she calls people ‘earth-ones’. Lucy’s mouth is, to Sharni, a ‘word cave’. Young readers will love working out this language.

Another highlight of the book is the dleightful illustrative contribution of Geraldine Guinard. She combines the real world with the magical with ease, bringing a special ‘other-world’ feel to all the black and white illustrations which are full of detail.

This little offering will appeal to readers aged 7 to 10 and would be ideal for a child dealing with change.

Dreamstone, by Helene Smith
Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2005

Children of Morwena, by Helene Smith

In a world of the future, vastly different from our own, teenagers Leila and Andre live with their parents and their much-loved baby sister Bonnie. Their world has been shaped by the destructive forces of wars years before. Those who have survived have built new lives based on peace.

But sometimes peace is only an illusion. When Morwena is wiped out by a violent strike, only the children survive,saved from death only to have to confront new terrors. Chaos reigns as survivors try to find loved ones, food and water are short, and no one is able to trust anyone else.

Alone in this grim world, Leila tries to find her brother and sister. First though she has to contend with her own fears and dreadful evil forces – Alrica, the wolf woman, Rattus, the ferl and the Grim organisation.Can she survive and be reunited with her loved ones? Is there life for these scattered chidlren from Morwena?

Children of Morwena is Helene Smith’s third novel for young people. Her earlier titles are Operation Clancy and Leaping the Tingles. She lives in Australind, just outside of the Western Australian city of Bunbury.

Children of Morwena is a inspirational story of how love can survive the toughness of life.

Children of Morwena, by Helene Smith

Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2002