Sunday 11 April 2021

The Edge of Thirteen

The Edge of Thirteen by Nova Weetman (University of Queensland Press) PB RRP $16.99 ISBN 9780702263125

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

The Edge of Thirteen is a middle grade fiction novel about navigating the ups and downs of becoming a teenager. Written in the first person, the narrative follows Clem Timmins as she enters Year 8 at high school.

When long-term friendship trio, Clem, Bridge and Ellie catch up after the summer holidays, Clem realises her friends are growing up without her. Their conversations are now about periods, bras, boyfriends, and social media -- experiences that seem so far away for Clem. Regrettably, the feeling of being left out causes Clem to act in ways she wouldn’t usually.

Once school starts back, the trio’s dynamics subtly change and Clem begins spending time with some new people, including a boy named Tom. As her social world expands, so does her self-doubt and peer pressures. Clem is caught between wanting to do things her way in her own time and desperately wanting to fit in. Unfortunately for Clem, her changing world and new friendships bring her a range of frustrations and embarrassing moments.

The Edge of Thirteen includes themes of friendship, puberty and first crushes. This novel is recommended for children aged 10 years and older.

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