In Lonnie's Shadow, by Chrissie Michaels

Keeping low, the youth crept through the shadows of the nightcart lane. The afternoon was already curtaining into early darkness. He turned up his collar against the drizzling rain and came to a standstill. All in all he couldn’t have chosen a better hour to do his business.
Only a dozen paces across a bluestone yard kept Lonnie McGuiness from the door he planned to force. he fought the temptation to tear across. Hold on mate, he steadied himself, don’t be too foolhardy. Once he made a move, there’d be no turning back.

In the slums of Little Lon, Lonnie McGuiness dwells, desperate to make a difference to his own life and those of his friends, but often feeling that there is no way out. He’s no criminal, but he’ll do what it takes to see that justice prevails.

In Lonnie’s Shadow is excellent historical fiction. With each chapter being introduced by a listing for a historical artefact which then appears in some way within the chapter, so that buttons, brooches, pieces of glass and more are used to weave together the story.

Lonnie and his friends are likeable characters, struggling against the odds as street workers, stable hands, greengrocers and seamstresses, low paid youngsters from the poorest part of Melbourne. Yet they are generous, and able to look out for each other in times of trouble, even when troubled themselves. Teen and upper primary readers will enjoy the story and be intrigued by the differences between their own lives and those of the teen characters.

In Lonnie's Shadow

In Lonnie’s Shadow, by Chrissie Michaels
Ford St, 2010

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