I stared into the shark’s unblinking eye. The voices grew louder. It felt like they were calling me. I tried to understand, but the mako’s black eyes were frightening. I looked away.
The voices stopped.
Isabel (Izzy) and her mother are returning home to the place she was born – an island in Papua New Guinea. Izzy loves her home, but this time, her journey is sad. They are taking the ashes of her much-loved twin brother home to be scattered.
On the island, Izzy and her mother start to heal, but Izzy also sees that the island is changing. The environment is changing, threatened by logging and modern technologies, and the sharks no longer answer the cries of the village shark callers. The clan needs someone to take an offering deep beneath the sea in a traditional offering to the shark god. The person must be a twin from the shark-calling lineage. Lizzie is the last twin. I will take great courage to even attempt the challenge.
The Shark Caller is a gripping, moving story of bereavement and courage, combining contemporary realism with fantasy elements. The issues of grief and of family obligations are combined with broader issues of environmental change and the impact of modernisation on traditional communities and ecocultures.
Suitable from readers in upper primary and beyond.
The Shark Caller, by Dianne Wolfer
Penguin Books, 2016
Ooh! Look at the holographic covers!
Dinosaurs, sharks, bugs, extreme animals, snakes and machines. Three of these titles are Level 1, for beginner readers and the other three are Level 2, for newly independent readers. Images are photographic (ahem except of course for the dinosaur title which is illustrated) and the text is informative, delivered in short sentences. The main narrative is in rhyme, with text boxes providing extra information. There is a guide at the beginning for parents wishing to assist their child in learning to read. Each title also includes a quiz page, to help cement any new information and provide structured opportunities to be sure the information was absorbed. There’s also a illustrated dictionary.
This new series of readers from Scholastic is guaranteed to find many fans in the classroom and at home. Each cover is holographic featuring title, a main image and five images along the bound edge of the book. Each image changes when the cover is moved. Think snakes and dinosaurs opening their jaws wide. Deliciously scary. The covers will ensure these books are chosen from any pile, and the content will keep them there. The need for information will entice the reader from word to word, page to page. The dictionary, key words, sight words and quiz will keep readers coming back. They will ignite new interests and feed existing interests. A great addition to any school reading program and to any home. Recommended for children learning to read.
Bugs, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831183
Extreme Animals, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831169
Slithering Snakes, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831176
Mighty Machines, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831190
Dangerous Dinosaurs, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831213
Sharks, Scholastic Australia 2012 ISBN: 9781742831206
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author