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Somewhere around the Corner

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Somewhere around the Corner

By Jackie French

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Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Published In: Australia, 02 March 1994
Just shut your eyes and picture yourself walking around the corner. that's what my friend told me. Somewhere around the corner and you'll be safe. the demonstration was wild, out of control. Barbara was scared. She saw the policeman running towards her. She needed to escape. She closed her eyes and did precisely that: she walked somewhere around the corner - to another demonstration - to another time. Barbara was lucky she meet young Jim who took her out of this strange, frightening city to his home. It was 1932, when Australia was in the grip of the depression, and Jim lived in a shantytown. But Barbara found a true friend and a true home - somewhere safe around the corner. Ages 12+


Just when her world seems darkest, Barbara, a runaway in contemporary Australia, is ``pulled around the corner'' backward in time. Awakening in the year 1932, the confused girl meets a kindly boy named Jim, who brings her home to ``Poverty Gully,'' a relief camp for the unemployed. While Jim's parents view their strange visitor as neglected and delusional, they are quick to accept Barbara as one of the family. Their run-down shack has no floor nor beds, but there Barbara finds the love and compassion denied her in her ``other world.'' Told from several points of view, French's tender story portrays the Great Depression as the best and the worst of times. The Australian author deftly parallels the hardships of that era with the modern-day conflicts that have pushed Barbara to the streets. Persuasively expressing its characters' dreams and concerns while offering a series of surprising twists, this intriguing adventure conveys a faith in many levels of miracles. Ages 9-12. (May)

EAN: 9780207183591
ISBN: 0207183597
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 1.6 centimetres (0.16 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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Such a wonderful story about modern-day troubled-teen Barbara who meets an elderly man at a rally who tells her to just "go around the corner" so she does, and ends up in the 1930s and gets swept up into the welcoming arms of Poverty Gully. An excellent fictional book to expose young adult readers to the ideas and personal experiences of the Depression. The only fault is that it overlooks the seriousness of the era, but it is a good story of "personal growth" where Barbara or "Bubba" as she is dubbed, finds a home, family and people who love her. When I was 12 I re-read this book over and over loving the sense of family that is set up in the poverty valley. There is an Author's Note at the end as well, that drops some of the romanticism of the Depression that the book creates by telling the reader about the reality of the era.

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