Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Knowing Joey Field

Knowing Joey Field by Pauline Luke (Brolga Publishing available through Pan Macmillan)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 9781922175403
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

With a superbly constructed storyline and characters that stand out like beacons in a dark night, Knowing Joey Field is a stunning book on youth, bulling and friendships.

Being the new kids at school should’ve been something that siblings Stephie and Matt were used to. They’d moved around enough. But here they were again, trying to fit in and make new friends with all the same old problems, but now in Moody Bay.

Stephie is befriended by Rose, the sister of the school bully Damian Connor. Matt hooks up with Joey, who is held in awe by many due to his psychic powers and the mysterious something more of himself that he keeps locked away.

Damian is a calculating, manipulative rich boy whose followers do his bidding to stay out of his attack radar. A con artist extraordinaire, his character depicts the evil side of bullies and their bullying tactics. I felt the victim’s fear and their submission to him, and was there in every scene throughout the book.

Pauline Luke has built a powerful story about bullying and its harmful and often tragic outcomes on people’s lives. This confronting theme is perfectly woven into a background of family life, conflicting friendships, tales of sunken treasure, and a series of mysterious break-ins.

Pauline Luke received a twelve months residency at Billilla in Brighton, Melbourne, to complete this book. She has also been the recipient of a May Gibbs and Varuna residency.


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