From the author of The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull and It's not all about YOU, Calma comes an intense, confronting, unforgettable novel to challenge our assumptions about bullying, coping strategies and mental health.
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(195mm x 130mm x 20mm)
Allen & Unwin Children's Books
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
From the first line - "I killed two kids at school today" - to the closing Messianic reference, this follows Michael through one week in the tortured and bullied life of a fat kid in his seventh new school. Michael's only refuge is his ability to have "lucid dreams," which allow him to control his painful reality. His life is not without kindness from a well-meaning but dithering stepmother; a plump, sympathetic classmate; a wise teacher; an administrator. The latter two are powerless to help Michael who understandably resists accusing his assailants. But after years of physical and emotional abuse, Michael's "dreamriding" is perverted from acts of kindness to violent acts of retribution. It emerges that Michael himself is an unreliable narrator, that nothing and no one is as it seems, that the story can be read and interpreted on many levels. Undeniably compelling but darkly disturbing and ultimately deeply perplexing. (author's note) (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Barry Jonsberg
Barry Jonsberg is an English teacher, originally from the UK but a resident of Darwin since 1999. He has two degrees in English and was Head of Department at the South Cheshire College in Crewe, Cheshire, UK. His first book for young adults, The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull, was published by Allen + Unwin in 2004 to much acclaim, and its sequel, It's not all about YOU, Calma, (2005) won the 2006 South Australian Festival Award for Children's Literature.