$24.95 – Paperback / Hardie Grant Books / Australia
Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street
It's 1953 and Barry has been sent to stay with Nan and Pop during the school holidays while his mum waits for the new baby. Barry is six-and-three-quarters and 22 Miller Street - the last house Pop built on the West Preston street - proves full of novel experiences: there's going shopping across the Hump at dawn with Nan Dickens ('good isn't it, height,' she says, advising him 'you can look at the stars for nothing'); keeping Pop company in the shed (where he goes for his smoko 'a yellow packet of Havelock was sticking out of his back pocket'); sharing a bed with great aunt Bess (whose Anzacs are 'an indestructible mixture of oats, molassess, wheatgerm and pure will'). Oh, and finding his way to Fairyland. 'It's time you got to know each other.' Nan reached up and took an old golf ball out of a baked-bean can nailed to the doorframe above the gully trap. 'All right,' she said, 'Now, West Preston fairies are nothing like the English ones. When you find them, do as they tell you. They'll never do you harm. And don't shout - they don't like that. They'll close up their ears if they hear a loud noise. Now, let's see where the ball lands. Ready, set, go!' But then Pop dies, and Barry and his Dad can't find the deed to the house. Developers Snaithe and Sharky are circling and Bracky Boy the Bodgie is threatening the whole neighbourhood.
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