Don Henderson keepinitreal
Stevie Goodes, the teen narrator of the story “about how I stopped being an egg headed idiot” is the local “refundables” (recycling) collector. Excessively shy and somewhat forgotten by society (he was left in a dumpster as a baby), Stevie lives with Uncle Boff and Auntie Peg in Victory Gardens, an (Australian) industrial suburb with a bikie gang, a suspect chemical works and a greyhound track with its ANZAC memorial gates. It follows the classic battler versus development (politicians) formula that many of us love and in this way is very reminiscent of the Australian movie classic The Castle. Stevie’s friendship with the carefree Kid Kabula, whose catch phrase is “keepinitreal” helps him find his voice and overcome his “egg headedness”. I especially liked the description of Uncle Boff in his Y fronts when he woke up Stevie at “sparrow fart” in the morning – “Balanced on top of all this white underwear was Uncle Boff’s head. It was as round as a fish bowl, and his bleary eyes peeked out from the top lie a pair of (the) little black fish” (p. 17). As an adult I preferred the humour in this book than in One Seriously Messed Up Week (previous post) but am not convinced students would feel the same.
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