Things to look forward to- 1. When I move to the city I’ll be far too busy to stay with the aunts very often. Specially at weekends. 2. Piriel plans to do a lot of entertaining in that apartment. She’ll need me around to help with that. 3. I’ll be doing some entertaining of my own, because everyone at school will realise just how exciting my new lifestyle is. Things will be different then, because I’ll be different. Somehow brighter and more interesting … Sarah Radcliffe could easily be a contender for the least-popular-girl-in-the-school award. But all that’s about to change when the glamorous Piriel Starr becomes her stepmother. Suddenly Sarah will have loads of friends who’ll be dying to see her fabulous city apartment. Just one last summer living with the aunts - a summer when Sarah makes an unlikely friend, learns a thing or two about the amazing Piriel Starr, and finally breaks the habit of a lifetime. Winner of the 1998 South Australian Festival Award for Literature Shortlisted for The Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, 1998
I originally read The Listmaker when it came out 19 years ago. I was 12 years old and I loved it then, so I was keen to re-read it when I heard it was being reprinted. It seems that being a 31-year-old woman hasn’t changed my taste in children’s books!
Sarah Radcliffe’s life is pretty dull. She boards at her school during term and lives with her two aunts on school holidays, barely ever getting to see her busy dad. But this is the last summer she’ll live with her aunts as Sarah is moving to the city with her father and glamorous step-mother-to-be, and her life is going to change for the better. But maybe this last summer with the aunts will make Sarah realise that her life isn’t really that bad.
Robin Klein’s book has not aged one bit. The issues involving family, school, and self-doubt are still relevant and faced by kids today, and I’m pleased to say that I can still highly recommend The Listmaker 19 years on! Brilliant for Ages 10 and up.
Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.
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