Wednesday 15 May 2024

To and Fro

To and Fro by Anton Clifford-Motopi (Allen & Unwin) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN 9781761180378

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Twelve-year-old Sam is nearing the end of primary school and he is ready to move on. He has had enough of school concerts, adventure playgrounds, and school hats that do not fit his head properly because of his afro. Sam is of mixed race; he got his white skin from his Australian mother and his afro from his Black South African father, who he has never met.

Sam has always been confused about his heritage and is not quite sure where he fits in, which makes his school assignment ‘Who am I and where do I come from?’ especially challenging for him. When Sam receives an opportunity to meet his father, he is full of nerves, anticipation, and hope that he will find the clarity he has been searching for.

To and Fro is a middle grade novel inspired by the author’s own experiences. Its themes include identity, belonging, puberty, racism, stereotypes and microaggression. This book would appeal to readers aged 10 years and older who enjoy humorous stories about growing up and finding your way. Note: there is some cheeky language throughout the book including multiple mentions of farts, balls, and the ‘rude finger’.

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