Worse things, by Sally Murphy
This arrived in the mail today, and I just devoured it in one sitting. This verse novel by Sally provides the parallel narratives of three teens all dealing with their own issues. A footballer who breaks his arm in the first game of the season, and is frustrated at not being able to play. A hockey player whose mother wants her to be a Hockeyroo but who’d rather be doing almost anything else. And a refugee who is still struggling with the stupid language and the strangeness of his new home.
I really loved this book. It’s a deceptively easy read, but extremely powerful despite that simplicity, and with a series of sparsely scattered illustrations that serve as a sucker punch for the emotions filtering through the poetry. One particular poem had me sobbing so unexpectedly hard as I thought about the refugee kids I used to teach and show through the library – it took me a solid 5 minutes to recover enough to keep reading. Thank you for this, Sally. It’s a wonderful piece of work.