Monday 3 September 2012

Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend

Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend by Steven Herrick (UQP)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9780702249280
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Australia's master of free verse, Steven Herrick has excelled himself with his latest release. Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend is the tale of class 6A from a school in a country town. The story is told through multiple perspectives: a number of class members, their teacher and the grounds-keeper.

Herrick has an amazing ability to immediately immerse readers in the story and the characters with such few words. Each of the characters has their own cross to bear, their own joys, frustrations and idiosyncrasies revealed within the wider school and town communities. It is remarkable how Herrick can fit so much into his stories - grief, crushes, loneliness, friendship, love and more. There's no car chases, aliens or amazing gadgets in this book. What you'll find is the ups and downs of life in all its wonder.

I'm unable to pick out a favourite verse and there are so many heart-warming moments it's impossible to list them all. To do so would not do them justice as it in their combination that makes this book so wonderful. I loved all the characters and their foibles and their inner strength. I think maybe Mick was my favourite but then Cameron was gorgeous or Laura ... Once again, impossible to pick.

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