Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mrs Whitlam by Bruce Pascoe

"I looked at the huge, hairy feet of the horse."

"Every now and then I could feel her soft rubbery lips and whiskers just touch my ear."

"She needed to be loved, this great heavy-footed horse. And I could love her."

I am reading the NSW School Magazine Bookshelf titles. I have mentioned these in previous posts. These are always interesting lists and often lead me to discover some terrific books.  Mrs Whitlam is on the Touchdown list for this year.  It is the perfect book for young horse lovers.

Marnie is given this precious horse but at the same time she has to endure racial discrimination in her small town. This is a short book with 75 pages but along with care of the horse, Marnie rescues a small child from a raging river, makes a new unexpected friend and she learns the importance of staying true to yourself.

There are some teaching notes available from the publisher web site.

Strong themes of place, family and country pulse through the book. Marnie’s narrative voice is smooth and natural on the page. There’s not one affected word to be found throughout the prose. It’s a highly enjoyable adventure ideal for middle readers.

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