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Book DetailsISBN: 9780702236730
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Book Review: Rhyming Boy by Steven Herrick - Reviewed by Boomert (13 Jan 2010)
Unfortunately for this book, it was the third YA novel I’d read this year featuring a hyper-intelligent young boy who memorises words from the dictionary but can’t function well socially. Throw in a single mum with a penchant for bad similes in the first few pages, and I was wincing. Fortunately though, Rhyming Boy did win me over. As it turns out, author Steven Herrick (author of the wonderful YA verse novel By the River)—and his titular protagonist Jayden Hayden—are really quite charming. Jayden is a kid who spends much of his time engrossed in The Guinness Book of Records and onomatopoeic words, but very little time figuring out who he really is. Following an encounter with Saskia, a girl at his school, and the announcement of a father-son day, he is propelled on a journey to discover his dad, whose identity, thus far in his life, has been a mystery. While not having that strong a story, Rhyming Boy does have some lovely moments of both humour and pathos. Its target audience is probably 10-plus (think primary school Nick Earls), but there is enough to recommend it to an older audience also.
Steven Herrick is one of Australia's most popular poets. He has published books of poetry for adults, young adults and younger readers. Love, ghosts and nose hair was shortlisted for the 1997 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. A Place Like This has been shortlisted for both the 1999 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. Over the past ten years Steven Herrick has performed his poems throughout Australia in schools, pubs, universities, festivals, rock venues and on radio and television. He has also toured Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore. He is one of Australia's most travelled and widely heard poets.
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