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So Much to Tell You


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About the Author

John Marsden is one of Australia's most critically acclaimed and bestselling authors. His works include So Much to Tell You, Checkers, Letters from the Inside, The Dead of the Night, and A Killing Frost. In addition to his writing career, Marsden has also taught at grammar schools and served as a school principal.


Gr 7-9-- Marina, a 14 year old living at a boarding school in Australia, has been facially disfigured under circumstances which are gradually revealed. Since that terrible event, she has not spoken. An English teacher makes diary writing a class assignment; the diary, this novel, becomes Marina's ``voice.'' Still, she remains withdrawn and nurses a great bitterness toward the world. Initially, she rejects the overtures of her dorm mates. With time, she shares in group responsibilities and discovers that her dorm mates--even the ``golden'' ones--have problems. Eventually, Marina is able to accept affection, friendship, and her own growing interest in school and social life. As the novel's pace quickens, she confronts her feelings toward her father, who had intended to attack his unfaithful wife with acid; Marina was the mistaken victim. Marina realizes that, despite everything, she feels forgiveness and compassion for her father. Marsden is a master storyteller. His characterizations--especially of young people--are interesting and believable. The descriptions of the girls' relationships are humorous and moving. There are faint echoes here of Richard D'Ambrosio's No Language But a Cry. (Dell , 1971), a popular nonfiction YA title. This is an intelligent work of literature which is satisfying both intellectually and emotionally. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, N.Y.

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