Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge

The Beginner's Guide to Revenge The Beginner's Guide to Revenge by Marianne Musgrove (Woolshed Press)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781742750866
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Marianne Musgrove has an uncanny knack for writing stories with deep heart yet humour and lightnesss. In The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge we meet the wonderful, and wonderfully flawed, characters of Romola and Sebastian.

Many kids will identify with Romola. She has ditched Old Romola and is now New and Improved Romola, who will not risk losing her new friends. This goes dramatically wrong when, at a birthday party for the most popular girl at school, Romola defends the ANZAC Day tradition and her soldier father. Once again she finds herself on the outer. 

Romola finds a new ally in Sebastian who is staying with his mother's fiancé, Korean war historian Marshall. Sebastian is desperate to find his father and avert the impending disaster of his mother's remarriage. When a plan to travel to visit his (unreliable) father in South Australia falls through, Sebastian blames Marshall. He believes it is now up to him to stop the wedding.

The two plot revenge on their tormentors. However, through the process they discover much more about themselves and others than they'd bargained for. The underlying theme of family and respect that runs through adds layers to the story.

Funny, sweet and with a big heart, The Beginner's Guide to Revenge is a story kids will enjoy and learn from. 

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