Maybe it won’t happen.
Maybe everything will be fine.
Maybe I should just stop thinking about the bad things and concentrate on the good things.
Like the beautiful countryside we’re walking through. Birds chirping and butterflies fluttering and not a single one of them being blown up.
And this dust on the road. It’s very good dust. Soft under our boots. Cushioning our cartwheels. Which is the best thing you could wish for when you’ve got a pregnant person in your cart. And another person walking next to you who’s nearly forty years old with sore feet.
Felix, Gabriek and pregnant Anya are heading home to Gabriek’s farm. The war is over and they are looking forward to a new life, and to the arrival of Anya’s baby. After years of war, it’s time to look forward. Maybe. The war may be over, but those who seek revenge do not give up easily and the trio must maintain their vigilance. Home is a concept, not a place and thousands are looking for new places in a ravaged world.
‘Maybe’ is the sixth instalment in Morris Gleitzman’s series featuring Felix. ‘Maybe’ details how Felix came to Australia at the age of fourteen. Although readers of the series will know both Felix’s past and his future, this novel also works as a stand-alone story. As in all the books in this series, there are themes of love, loss, revenge, survival, integrity and fallibility. But most of all, it is a page-turner, a time-swallower, an insight into unthinkable awfulness told with the deft touch of a master storyteller. Recommended for upper-primary, early-secondary readers.
Maybe, Morris Gleitzman Penguin Books Australia 2017 ISBN: 9780670079377
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
What do seven year olds like to read about? Lots of things! And this book aimed at seven year old readers, covers lots of different subjects, in different forms. There is a story about a mother on a diet, one about surfing in an outback pool, another about a young emperor with a headache, and yet another about an author visiting a school. Whilst all are prose, one is interspersed with poetry and others use fairytale, mythology, first person narration and even the format of a school report, meaning there is plenty of variety.
The 11 stories are illustrated by Tom Jellett, giving a uniformity to the volume, and back of book biographies introduce each author who include some of the biggest names of Australian children’s literature, including Morris Gleitzman, Paul Jennings and Margaret Clark.
Suitable for newly independent readers to read on their own, the stories are also suitable for reading aloud.
Stories for Seven Year Olds, edited by Linsay Knight, illustrated by Tom Jellett
Random House, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online.
All that Oliver wants is a dog. Not just any dog, though – he wants the little black and white dog in the pet store. But Oliver can’t have a dog, because his parents are too rich for a pet. Then a strange lady buys the dog, Barclay, which is soon in a lot of trouble, and so are sixteen camels, Mum and Dad – and even Oliver himself. It’s up to him to try to figure out a way to save them all…
Oliver wanted more.
Not squillions of dollars and private jets and solid gold zips on his school bag. Not even his own paint-ball island in the Pacific or lolly trucks backing up to his place every day.
Just more than this.
All that Oliver wants is a dog. Not just any dog, though – he wants the little black and white dog in the pet store. But Oliver can’t have a dog, because his parents are too rich for a pet. Then a strange lady buys the dog, Barclay, which is soon in a lot of trouble, and so are sixteen camels, Mum and Dad – and even Oliver himself. It’s up to him to try to figure out a way to save them all.
Too Small to Fail is a funny story about an unlikely hero in the form of a small boy who isn’t good at maths and whose parents are incredibly rich. As the world faces a financial crisis, Oliver finds himself face to face with people affected by his parents’ investment strategies and proves to himself – and others – that being god at maths in’t the only way to make a difference. In places the story is sad, and very serious, but mostly it is a humorous adventure which middle and upper primary aged readers will love.
Too Small to Fail, by Morris Gleitzman
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
Once I didn’t know about my grandfather Feilx’s scary childhood.
Then I found out what the Nazis did to his best friend Zelda.
Now I understand why Felix does the things he does.
At least he’s got me.
My name is Zelda too.
This is our story.
Zelda is named after her grandfather’s brave childhood friend, but she doesn’t feel worthy of sharing the name. She isn’t brave or clever like the first Zelda – or so she thinks. Her parents are overseas working to help orphans, and Zelda has been left with Felix. She loves him dearly, but still she can’t help feeling abandoned. When Felix’s birthday comes around, Zelda works hard to make it special for him – but not everything she tries is successful.
Now is a heart tugging tale of family and survival. Felix’s war-time tribulations, and the way they have affected his whole life shape the story, which sees Felix and young Zelda battle their individual demons, as well as a terrifying bushfire which threatens their life and calls on all their reserves of strength and ingenuity.
Following from author Gleitzman’s earlier titles Once and Then, Now satisfactorily completes Felix’s tale but can also stand alone.
Now, by Morris Gleitzman
This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.