B.A. Goodjohn Sticklebacks and Snow Globes

ISBN 13: 9781579621780

Sticklebacks and Snow Globes

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9781579621780: Sticklebacks and Snow Globes
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"A fat, brown stickleback nosed the canal bank just below the surface. Tot stretched face down on the gravel tow-path. Hold my legs! she told the boy and edged the bamboo fishing net out slowly across the oily water. You can t chase a fish, she whispered. You have to decide where he wants to go, and then wait for him there. She held the net steady. The fish glided backwards an inch, turned once, then swam into the net s pink nylon mesh." Tot is good at watching, waiting and working things out. And there s a lot that demands close attention: her own epilepsy, an older sister who never wants to play anymore, a best friend who s changed her name to Roger, and a girl across the road with a star entry in the Stanley Close Spy Club notebook for doing it with a gypsy man. And then to crown it all, her dad has dreams of New Orleans. Sticklebacks and Snowglobes is a story of tangled destinies unravelled and made sense of by an eight-year-old girl called Tot, a child as yet untouched by hormones, and whose belief system is shored up by fishing nets, a healthy respect for exploding saints and faith in both the inherent goodness of people and in the way things are.

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About the Author:

B.A. Goodjohn (or Bunny Goodjohn) emigrated to the USA from the UK in 1999. Her fiction and poetry has appeared in various literary magazines, including The Texas Review, The Cortland Review and Wind Magazine, and in a number of anthologies. She now lives and writes within sight of Virginia's Blue Ridge and shares her space with a rabble of tomcats and a small flock of rescue hens.

Review:

In this magical debut, working-class British council-estate life becomes a sort of quotidian wonderland starring children clever and strange and very real.
Eight-year-old Tot is a glass child, an epileptic always with a wary eye out for the pouncing arrival of Kit-the-Fit, her personification of the seizures that wet her knickers and send her tongue fluttering. Her dad, a sweetheart, good-for-little dreamer, sometimes mistakes her writhing for doing Stevie, his nod to the jerking dance moves of his idol, Motown master Stevie Wonder. Trumpeter for the Blue Notes, a ragtag Dixieland crew swinging the corner pub, he fantasizes splitting for The Big Easy. Goodjohn's got a winsome soft spot, but she's a tough naturalist, too, so she actually has dad abandon the wife and kids. Which leaves Tot mourning, collecting snow globes and fishing for stickleback in company with the Our Gang of the Stanley Close tenement, new arrival Keesal, who's Paki and picked-on, Seamus the Retard and his brother Michael, football-star dreamboat. Terrific Glitter-Decade detail (Tot dreams about Bianca Jagger, Farrah Fawcett's vinyl jumpsuit and really killer platform boots) alternates with dead-on musings about dead-end politics. The stars around Tot's moon, her stuck-up mom and sister Dorothy ( Queen of Ladylike ) and Catholic-school daredevil Lily ( who had touched a dead man's face in a funeral parlor ) are the tenement's hard-suffering regiment of women, their lives filled with ordinary joy and loss until Dorothy shocks the neighbors with her pregnancy. And Tot's poetic look at life turns worldly wise.
A cozy, richly written delight. --starred Review in Kirkus

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9781579621551: Sticklebacks and Snow Globes

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ISBN 10:  1579621554 ISBN 13:  9781579621551
Publisher: Permanent Press, 2007
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