It's Only Temporary by Sally Warner
|It's Only Temporary by Sally Warner|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A wonderfully honest story about family breakdown, bullying, and taking responsibility. It's direct, recognisable, funny at times and sad others. For all junior fans of kitchen sink dramas.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: June 2008|
Twelve year-old Skye's rebellious older brother Scott has almost killed himself in a car crash. Skye can't say that she's surprised and in her most honest moments she's even horribly relieved. The brother who was such a protector when she was younger had disappeared long before the accident, replaced by a sullen, morose, door-slamming stranger. Home seems better off without him to Skye, even though his absence doesn't seem to have done much to bring her parents closer together.
So when brain-damaged Scott comes home and Skye is packed off to her grandmother's house and a new school in California for a "transition period", you can understand her resentment. Home and New Mexico seems a long way off. Skye takes refuge in her sketch book, but eventually it proves even such a private journal isn't sacred...
Oh, it's so hard to fit in when you're young, isn't it? And to be shunted off to new schools in the middle of family crises sure doesn't make it any easier. Even an intelligent, feisty, articulate child like Skye finds this. Readers will love Skye, and identify with her. She's bright and courageous and thoughtful, but she's not perfect. And she has less than honourable thoughts. Don't we all? She loves her brother Scott and recognises that his bad behaviour wasn't the be all and end all of him. She understands that the family focus has to be on him until he gets better. But it doesn't mean that she doesn't have the occasional wish that he'd never come from hospital. She hates bullying, but she doesn't always stick up for her bullied friends in the way that she should. Sometimes, she resents people who haven't done anything wrong at all. Don't we all?
Skye's sketchbook - the only place where her "dark side" gets free rein - proves to be her Achilles heel, and does get her into all sorts of trouble. However, it's also her safety valve, and through it readers can see that everyone needs a safety valve from time to time, especially when things are going wrong externally. Your thoughts are never wrong; but your deeds sometimes might be. There's a world of difference, but it's an important lesson to learn.
It's Only Temporary is a wonderfully honest story about family breakdown, bullying, and taking responsibility. It's direct, recognisable, funny at times and sad at others. The writing is direct and refreshingly free of any preaching. Fans of kitchen sink dramas aged from about ten to fourteen will love it.
My thanks to the nice people at Viking for sending the book.
They might also enjoy the very British Hurricane Wills by Sally Grindley which has a little boy struggling with a sibling with attention deficit disorder or Eggs by Jerry Spinelli in which another little boy deals with bereavement with the help of a friend.
You can read more book reviews or buy It's Only Temporary by Sally Warner at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy It's Only Temporary by Sally Warner at Amazon.com.
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