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How to Make a Bird
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Commended: Kraft Foods Prize for Young Adult Fiction, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2002.

About the Author

Martine Murray is a young author/illustrator. Born in Melbourne, she has travelled widely and now lives in Elwood. She says she has been a student for much longer than one should be, studying painting at the Victorian College of the Arts, filmmaking, dance and dance therapy, and writing. She teaches yoga and circus skills, makes dance theatre and writes stories. She likes dancing, walking and hanging upside-down on things. Martine is the author and illustrator of A Moose Called Mouse and The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley (Allen + Unwin) and author of A Dog Called Bear (Random House).

Reviews

Readers will love this dynamic survivor's tale of a search for what is important in life.' Australian Bookseller & PublisherShe's done it again.' Ernie Tucker, English in AustraliaThe seductive language evokes the emotional and physical landscapes in a coming of age tale that is beautifully told' Readings MonthlyAug 03Her characters leap off the page one of the most original, irrepressible and exciting voices' to be heard amongst writers at present.' ViewpointVol 11 No. 4 Summer 2003.

Gr 9 Up-Fed up with her boring country life and thrown off-kilter by recent family tragedies, 17-year-old Mannie dons her mother's long red dress, boards a train to Melbourne, and sets off into the world planning to get as far away from her everyday existence as possible. Though she starts her journey feeling sure that she is doing right by herself, she encounters memories from her past that tug at her heart and shake her resolve. Should she truly move on to become a new version of herself or go back home and make the best of her situation? The transitions between Mannie's present day and past are integrated seamlessly. The time period is the late '70s, but this is only revealed in small hints (e.g., a passing mention that Star Wars is in theaters). The story itself, while well written, is not exciting, and Mannie is not easy to identify with. The only scenes evoking any emotion are the ones with her Grandmother Ivy, and when she recounts her brother's death. Despite the author's ability as a wordsmith, readers are not likely to stick with this story to the end.-Melyssa Malinowski, Parkville High School, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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