Archives for category: Kirsty Applebaum

Image result for troofriend nosy crow

Published by Nosy Crow

This is the story of a Troofriend. The advertising by line is that they are the friend you never had. Adults are told that Troofriends don’t bully. They don’t harm, lie, covet, steal or envy. They are the ideal friend for children – especially if their parents are busy.

Sarah’s parents are. Her mother believes this might just be the companion that Sarah should have, her father is not sure. As for Ivy – well she wouldn’t know, would she?

This is touching, thought provoking and dare I say it a little quietly disturbing. Who knows what the future will bring? Things change so fast and we seem to be moving away more and more from real face to face interaction.

I see a little of it when I serve some people in the store. Little or no eye contact – worse ignoring their children / their employer’s, whilst staring down at a screen, often resulting in an unhappy exasperated child and a plastic toy tossed onto the till – the fascinating conversation continuing all the while.

As I said this raises many questions.

A look to the future, perhaps.

The cover above may not be that with which the book is published. Then again it may be. Out in April – they have plenty of time to change their minds…

 

 

The_Middler_cvr72DPI

Published by Nosy Crow.

Our eldests are heroes.

Our eldests are special.

Our eldests are brave.

Shame upon any who holds back an eldest

And Shame upon their kin.

Most of all,

Shame upon the wanderers.

Let Peace settle over the Quiet War,

Truly and forever.

‘My big sister, is bigger than me’… I am sure there is a poem that starts with that phrase. This is a story set around where you stand in the family: Oldest, Youngest or a Middler. My big sister was a Middler. I don’t think she felt the same way as Maggie does in this fantastic tale of deceit. I have never asked her. Perhaps I should.

Jed, is an Eldest – so a hero. He’s special. He’s brave. Trig is four years Maggie’s junior, the Youngest and Maggie?  Well she’s not important at all. She’s a Middler. She won’t be doing anything interesting. She’s not important. She will live safely. Her life will be secure, quiet…unlike her brother’s.  She isn’t brave (she’s a Middler), she’s not special (she’s a Middler) and she certainly isn’t a hero. Eldests are heroes, special and brave. They go to camp…

Maggie begins to realise that things aren’t quite as she has always been led to believe. Perhaps it isn’t so wonderful to leave, seemingly never to return, to fight the Quiet War. Perhaps there’s more to this then she thought.

Fennis Wick is protected from the Quiet War by the Boundary; protected by all the Eldests who go to fight, to keep their families safe. Beyond the Boundary – there’s wilderness, lawlessness and there are the dirty, dangerous and deceitful Wanderers

I’m not sure I am as brave as Maggie. Though thinking about it, I am certain that my big sister (you know, the one that is bigger than me), would certainly have done something of a similar line as Maggie and on reflection – I hate inequality and lies…and I have been known to say what I think and to stand up for what I believe in – so perhaps we two would fight for what is right…certainly to protect my brother…siblings are so important, so special.

A dystopian story about lies, deceit, families, friendships and siblings…

Eldest. Middler. Youngest.

Dirty, dangerous and deceitful wanderers.

A stupendous book about malfeasance,

thinking for yourself and

standing up for what is right.

A book for now.

Simply one of the best books I have read in ages…

 

 

NB. I have just looked up that poem – and find it’s by Spike Milligan and entitled: My Sister Laura. I haven’t read it in years…