June 8 2021
The Book of Chance, by Sue Whiting
Title: The Book of Chance
Author: Sue Whiting
Genre/ issues: Middle grade. Family and relationships. Mystery.
It’s always a relief when you read a book by someone you know and like, and discover the book is really good so you don’t have to do that polite diplomatic review so you don’t offend or upset them! The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting is one of those. Mystery isn’t usually my genre, which is probably why it’s taken me a while to get to this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and curled up on campus today with a coffee and a blanket scarf I devoured it in one sitting!
Chance Callahan has no time for fakery in her life, and holds everyone around her to pretty high standards. So what happens when Chance discovers a truth that threatens to derail her trust in someone she loves dearly, and to turn her world completely upside down?
I loved the structure which sees us start at the end of Chance’s story, the authentic characters, and the glimpses of Wollongong and its surrounds that are so familiar to me. This middle grade novel is totally worthy of its position on the CBCA younger readers shortlist this year, and is a masterclass in engaging and compelling storytelling. And phew – no diplomatic platitudes required in this review!
The only possible content warning, if you have sensitive young readers or those with recent vehicular trauma, is the (spoiler alert!!!) description of a car accident with multiple fatalities. Sensitively told, no explicit details, not traumatic unless it’s likely to be personally triggering for a reader. A cracker of an Australian novel for upper primary or lower secondary readers.