I believe this is a must have book for all Australians to read, not just because the royalties go to charity, but because it shows that our young people are thinking of the future, are overcoming the odds to advocate for positive social change.
This is an interesting ABC book full of Australians, some recognisable and some less so that are considered (in one of Australia’s most recognised terms) Legends.
There is such strong YA fiction being written in Australia at the moment, and Sparrow is right up there as being one of the best. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book that was set along the coastal region of the Kimberley – a rugged remote Australian location, with deep gorges and mostly isolated coastline. It didn’t take me long to be impacted by this book which went deeper than I expected. Those very first chapters saw the characters become so ingrained within me that I didn’t want to close the book at the end. I wanted to continue to follow Sparrow on his journey.
If you haven’t met Ruby Wishfingers before, you wouldn’t know that she gets 12 wishes a year, these make her fingers tingle and need to be used thoughtfully. You also wouldn’t know that her parent’s don’t believe these wishes exist, that her brother Jellybean can make things appear and disappear, and that grandma has wishes too. These wishes were inherited from Ruby’s great great great great grandfather Wishfingers.
In writing this book, Mem Fox called her book a “Rhythmic, loving, friendly Australian book, about all the people who have come here to make Australia the lovely place it is.” I believe Mem has achieved this as she has captured the Australian spirit and more.
“Once upon a time, but not very long ago, deep in the Australian bush lived two possums. Their names were Hush and Grandma Poss”.