Saturday 7 May 2011

Buzzard Breath and Brains

Buzzard Breath and Brains by James Moloney (a re-release from UQP)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9780702233920
Review by Jo Burnell

Having just finished Swashbuckler I couldn’t wait to start on this sequel and I wasn’t disappointed. Even though I get tired of bullying stories, Buzzard Breath and Brains is different.

How can a bully change his ways? Will the old friends let him walk away? Who would want to befriend someone who’s been pushing others up against walls for years? Is there another sort of bully too? One who doesn’t even know that what they do is a form of bullying?

Rex loves sardine sandwiches. One whiff and you’re gasping for breath. Tony is small, but he’s Rex’s best friend. Rex always does what Tony says, even if his stomach clenches with misgiving. You have to do what your friend asks, don’t you? Isn’t that what being a friend is all about?
When the terrible two are suspended from school for something they didn’t do, the danger escalates. Tony wants revenge.

Natalie has always thought her cousin Rex was a thug. Now she realises there is more to people than what you see. Resolving to help him, her own controlling behaviour is challenged.

Buzzard Breath and Brains is a complex tale about what constitutes bullying. It is perfect for both boys and girls. While showcasing the destructive power of physical abuse, it also looks at the insidious effect of exclusion.

A must read for grade 3 upwards.

Jo Burnell is passionate about hooking reluctant and struggling readers into the world of books. Her current project for Middle Primary students is about an Aussie hero. Her uncle Roy was a fighter pilot in World War 2. 

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