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Marsh and Me

By Martine Murray

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Format: Paperback, 256 pages
Published In: Australia, 03 July 2017
There's a hill out the back of Joey's house. Hardly anyone goes there-it's not a beautiful place, just a covered-over old rubbish tip. But Joey likes it up there. It's his hill-somewhere he likes to go to wonder about life. He longs to be the best at something, to be a famous astronaut, or mountain climber, to stand out. When Joey discovers a tree house in an old peppercorn tree on the hill, he is annoyed that someone has invaded his special place. But he is also curious about who the intruder could be. But making contact isn't easy. The tree-house girl is wild and hostile and full of secrets-Joey needs to work out a way to win her over. And as he does, he finds a way to shine. Marsh and Me is a story about friendship and trust and learning to believe in yourself and what makes you special. Martine Murray's beautifully rounded characters, with all their self-doubts, yearnings and wise insights, will delight readers young and old.

Promotional Information

* Print reviews in selected tabloid and broadsheet newspapers in Australia and New Zealand * Interviews in specialist children's magazines such as Total Girl * Reviews and profiles in literary publications and teacher/librarian resources such as Books+Publishing, Reading Time and Magpies * Author interviews and reviews on Kids Book Reviews, Gobblefunked and Good Reading * Online review coverage on prominent YA blogs such as ALPHA Reader, Bookish Manicurist, Written Word Worlds and Paper Fury * Interviews on local and national radio * Push for school events, talks and writing workshops * Reviews and profiles in parenting blogs such as Kidspot * Advertising in Magpies magazine and Kids Book Review * Feature title at education conferences such as AATE * Budget for bookseller catalogues * Feature title in Text newsletters, website and social media campaigns * Teaching notes available on publication

About the Author

Martine Murray was born in Melbourne, and now lives in Castlemaine. Her most recent novel, Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, was shortlisted for the 2016 CBCA Award for Younger Readers.


'Molly and Pim is wild, whimsical and wonderful. It makes you fall in love with the world and everyone in it.' -- Sally Rippin 'Here is a middle-grade novel that sees beauty and magic in the environment around us, and celebrates seeds of friendship which grow deep roots. I loved this charming and whimsical novel, and young readers will too!' Alpha Reader, on Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars 'Warm and wise for middle-grade readers who appreciate just a hint of the fantastic.' Kirkus Reviews, on Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars 'This is a story of an unlikely friendship, a common theme in children's books, but one that feels refreshing due to how nice these children are. Martine Murray captures sadness without wallowing in it...Joey and Marsh's story is both reassuring and encouraging for children aged eight and up.' Books + Publishing

EAN: 9781925498011
ISBN: 1925498018
Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.9 x 2.1 centimetres (0.09 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
Marianne on
“I see the treehouse-builder, the hill-occupier, the collector of small things. It’s a girl. She stares at me with eyes of fire. She’s small with a bundle of hair as black as ink, khaki overalls and bare feet. She’s got a wild look, and she narrows her eyes at me as if she wants to kill me. But then she gives a tiny dismissive jerk of her head and ducks out the tree branches”

Marsh and Me is the eleventh book by Australian author, Martine Murray. Joey is taking the dog for a walk in his favourite place: “The hill brings out the conqueror in me, Joey M. Green. Once I get on the hill, I stride up it, lofty as a cloud, my head stuffed with dreams. My faithful offsider, Black Betty, is always close by, snout to the ground, tail aloft and swashbuckling”. But he finds it occupied. Someone has built a treehouse in the peppercorn tree, an assembly of junk, and Joey is apparently not welcome.

But Joey is determined, and next visit, finds the construction unoccupied, and discovers within a collection of objects: “The tiny things are just normal, everyday things – a thimble, a button, a pencil-sharpener, an acorn, a coin, a bulldog clip, a washer, a stone, an elastic band, a bobby pin, a plug. They look as if they are in the middle of a game. There is a tooth, and next to it, as if in conversation with it, is an acorn. Fanning out around a belt buckle are a periwinkle shell, a bottle lid and a silver button, as if they were children listening to the belt buckle. Directly in front of the sharpener is a dice, as if they are in some sort of confrontation. A duel”

Eventually he meets the secretive builder, they call a truce and, when she does not offer her name, he christens her Marsh. His visits become frequent and Joey is surprised to find himself keeping them secret, and telling lies to family and friends.

Once again, Murray gives her readers a charming tale, one that touches on guilt and grief and secrets, and demonstrates the importance of friendship and feeling needed. Joey is a likeable character whose inner monologue provides plenty of humour. In particular, Joey’s wondering about the first man to set foot on the moon results in a delightful little scenario.

Murray’s descriptive prose is often gorgeous, and readers of her most recent book will be pleased to know this one occurs in the same place: Molly and Maude get a mention; Pim makes an appearance. While this book is aimed at younger readers, it is likely to beguile readers of any age. Very enjoyable.

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