Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book of Craig Silvey's. The story is set in a small town of Corrigan and based around Charlie, the main protagonist who has great strong voice. Charlie is a 14 year old who, to date, has lived a good life being smart and obedient. He is a single child of a quiet father who shuts himself away in his library for long periods of time, and an overbearing mother. His life is interrupted and turned upside down by a tap on the window by Jasper Jones, the errant teen of the town, who desperately needs his help.
Charlie is faced with needing to stand by and defend his best friend and family, the only Vietnamese in town who is persecuted by the cricket team and louts from the town. Through this he learns what it is to himself.
Jasper Jones leads Charlie up the bush path to try to help him solve the greatest mystery of the town and in doing so, Charlie's life falls apart and he has to work out how to rebuild it.
I think this is a great YA and adult read (my bookclub is reading it and we are well over the young adult age group). There was plenty of tension to keep the reader strung along and even a romance threaded through. It dealt with issues of identity, death, grief, responsibility, racism and corruption. Would be a great book for kids to study.
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