Friday, April 11, 2014

"Jasper Jones" by Craig Silvey

This book has been described as the Australian 'To kill a mockingbird', and has been shortlisted for and won some awards. I read it as part of the Aussie Author Challenge. I really enjoyed this book. The characters, the writing style, the storyline. I read the last two thirds of this book in one sitting while on a plane flight, it's one of those books that I didnt want to put down once I started reading it. 
The book is set in a small town in Western Australia in the 1960s. The main character, Charlie Bucktin, is a quiet, shy, bookish 13-year-old kid, somewhat lonely apart from his best mate, a Vietnamese boy Jeffrey Lu. Someone you wouldn't expect to be mixed up in any kind of crime or unlawful adventure. But suddenly he is sought out by the village outcast, Jasper Jones, who has a notorious reputation of being the source of almost every criminal or delinquent behaviour around the village. In the dead of night, Jasper knocks on Charlie's bedroom window and tells him that he needs his help with something urgently, and Charlie becomes deeply involved with Jasper trying to prove his innocence in what appears to be a horrific and violent crime in the woods surrounding the village. I guess you could say the book is a 'coming of age' story mixed with crime/mystery elements and dealing with racial tensions and attitudes in Australia (both against Australian Aboriginals and Vietnamese residents in Australia during the Vietnam war). The book also has young romance in it, and comedic moments (often brought to life in the banter between Charlie and Jeffrey Lu). I highly recommend it.

Started reading: 10th April 2014
Finished: 19th April 2014
My score: 10/10

Male author, New to me, unsure of the Genre: perhaps Young Adult Fiction?

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