During wintertime the Melling sisters move to the big city with their mother while Dad is away looking for work.
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Robin Klein is one of Australia’s most popular and accomplished writers for children and young adults. Robin has had more than 40 books published. Her works have been adapted for both stage and screen. Many of her books have been shortlisted for the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award.
Alice Pung's award-winning books span the genres of memoir, non-fiction, anthology, young adult and children's fiction. Alice's first book Unpolished Gem won the 2007 Australian Book Industry Award for Newcomer of the Year. Her second book, Her Father's Daughter, won the 2011 Western Australia Premier's Literary Award, and her first novel, Lucy and Linh, received a Kirkus star.
Grade 5-7-The four Melling sisters, Vivienne, Heather, Cathy, and Grace, whom readers met in All in the Blue Unclouded Weather (1992) and Dresses of Red and Gold (1993, both Viking) are back. Set in Australia during the 1940s, this novel tells of the girls' move with their mother from their small country town of Wilgawa to the city while their ne'er-do-well father looks for work. The dreary winter months are made more difficult by the scarcity of money, the need to rely on relatives, and several moves to new living quarters. The book is episodic, with narration shifting among the sisters. The style is subtle and mildly humorous. However, the idioms and cultural differences are not always clear from the context. Klein excels at drawing unique characterizations and sibling relationships. Certainly American children will relate to issues of moving, fitting in, making new friends, and dealing with change. The difficult realization that their father may never be coming home is balanced by the promise of spring. A gentle story, short on action or a strong plot.?Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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