Maybe by Morris Gleitzman

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

A Time of Secrets, by Deborah Burrows

There was a fierce, well-controlled energy about Eric Lund, and I couldn’t help wondering what he’d be like if he became angry. I suspected that he didn’t give in to anger lightly, though. He was holding me close and his hand was firm on the small of my back. I was very concious of the feel of his left hand, holding my right in a secure grip. I looked up, into his eyes. For a moment we just stared at each other, watching each other’s faces as our bodies moved together in time to the music.

When Australian Women’s Army sergeant Stella Aldridge meets Eric Lund, he reminds her of her dead husband, in disturbing ways, and yet she cant’ stop thinking about him, even after he is sent off a mission soon after they meet. Her mind should be elsewhere. She has overhead a threat to kill someone, a threat which links Eric and her new boss, the very attractive Lieutenant Nick Ross. While Eric is away, Stella must work with Nick to try to uncover a traitor who is putting surveillance missions, and lives, at risk.

A Time of Secrets, set in Melbourne during World War II, is an absorbing blend of romance, action and mystery.Readers are given an inside look at part of Australian war history they may not know about, with the fictional characters and relationships set amongst the real events of the time. Stella, previously an artist, and a war widow, has enlisted in the Women’s Army and her flair with languages has seen her deployed to Melbourne to work in Intelligence. Her determination not be hurt does not stop her from taking risks or from looking after herself and those around her. Readers will enjoy watching her development, as well as seeing that of the men in her life.

Excellent historical fiction.

A Time of Secrets, by Deborah Burrows
Macmillan, 2015
ISBN 9781743532997

Available from good bookstores and online.