Star Jumps, the new verse novel from award-winning poet Lorraine Marwood is being released by Walker Books Australia today.
Lorraine says about her story,
“I’ve always wanted to write about contemporary farm life – as an ex-farmer and watching my children grow up on the farm, I knew there was an untold wealth of detail and story waiting to be shared. So often the stereotype farm is presented as old-fashioned – there is so much modern technology on a contemporary farm also. So this book is almost a social document but also dedicated to the many hardworking farm children who learn so many skills at a young age.”
Here’s my review of Lorraine’s beautiful new book:
by Lorraine Marwood
Published by Walker Books Australia
Ruby, Keely, Connor and their dairy farming family have made it through years of drought. But while the kids continue to star jump their way through the paddocks, and frolic amongst the marshmallow weed, part of them knows that this year is different – that everything is about to change – that everything they know and love could be lost.
In this poignant verse novel, Lorraine Marwood conveys the feelings of powerlessness of children facing the problems of an adult world. Despite the bleakness, there is hope in the form of the enterprising Ruby who devises a plan to keep the farm going.
Reading Star Jumps was like tunnelling into Marshmallow weed with Ruby and her family. On every page there are new discoveries and language delights.
Author Lorraine Marwood is a masterful poet who can convey the strongest emotion with the simplest description. ‘We look at the flat-as-a-pizza country with all the extra topping eaten away.’ In this simple sentence, she defines a drought in terms that her young readers can relate to and visualise.
Despite the hard times depicted, Star Jumps is also full of the joys of being a child, living in the country with plenty of space and freedom to be yourself.
Every word has its place in this story, yet despite the pared down style, the characters are realistically depicted through their actions and dialogue. Each character has their own unique voice – even the collie, Anteater, and the cat, Stinky.
Lorraine Marwood comes from a farming background, and this is clearly a story that’s close to her heart.
Star Jumps is an inspiring read for children aged 9-11 who refuse to just ‘let things happen’.
For more information about Lorraine and her work visit www.lorrainemarwood.com
Thanks for sharing your wonderful book with us Lorraine.