Friday 3 June 2016

The Other Christy

The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh (Puffin) PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 9780143505723

Reviewed by Dianne Bates  

Christy Ung is being (too attentively she feels) raised by her Grandpa. She attends Cabravale Primary where she’s been in the same class for three years with another girl called Christie. Now in 6C, everyone calls her ‘the other Christy’, which she doesn’t appreciate. Our protagonist feels left out, more so when Christie invites other girls to her birthday party but not her. Christy wants to be noticed and to have a special friend, like Liana and Charlotte in her class; she wishes, too, to have someone at home to care for her, not her ‘weird, fussy Grandpa.’       

Christy’s Aunt Mayly, with whom she often bakes, tells her that the way to friendship can be through sweet treats so the two cook cakes that Christy takes to school to share with her class-mates. She doesn’t seem to make a dent with her nemesis, but when Christie falls out with her regular friends, an opportunity opens for Christy to befriend her. It is then that the two find they have more in common than just their names.

This is a touching story about the child left out, about friendship and about a Cambodian family. It doesn’t have Phommovanh’s usual laugh-aloud humour but it is sure to be enjoyed by girls aged 9+ years.              

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