Dream Time

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Loosely tied together by a common theme--conveyed by the title--and setting, this collection of 16 short stories provides a colorful assortment of contemporary Australian literature, ranging in tone from somber to light-hearted to fantastical. Science fiction buffs will be enticed by such titles as ``Night of Passage'' (Lee Harding), tracing a girl's journey though a decaying metropolis, and ``Miss Faberge's Last Daze'' (Jenny Wagner), which features a school system run by robots and aliens. Those preferring realism will be moved by other poignant selections that explore such topics as prejudice, growing pains and teen relationships with parents and peers. Sensitively relaying the points of view of both aborigines and whites, this anthology examines how both peoples are affected by the rugged landscape, unique history and mysterious aura of their homeland. Although readers unfamiliar with the country's culture and geography may stumble over some of the terms and allusions, they will easily relate to the concerns and dreams of young people facing new challenges. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- Sixteen new short stories by award-winning Australian writers focus on some aspect of the theme ``Dream Time.'' The tales of the future will appeal to sci/fi fans (John Marsden's space travel via dream power and its inherent dangers and Lee Harding's coming-of-age quest in a post-nuclear holocaust world); in another vein, Christobel Mattingley's commentary on the plight of the Aborigini and Libby Hathorn's Aboriginal girl who rediscovers her history speak to entirely different readers--one with a more sophisticated social consciousness. This jumping from style to style takes mental adjustment. The selections range from Thurley Fowler's picture of racism toward Aboriginal students in a white school and Gillian Rubinstein's portrayal of two young sisters accepting the death of their father to Victor Kelleher's tale of a malevolent, lifelike river that tries to drown unbelievers with its powerful current to a personal vignette about Patricia Wrightson's perfect, yet doomed pet. Each author is an accomplished writer; character development is brief but on the whole adequate. Some Australian dialect is present, but not enough to create a barrier for readers. The stories can stand alone, but due to the broad scope and loose ties to the dream theme, no dominant reading level or interest area stands out. Accessible to younger readers, the collection has some appeal to middle school and junior high teens, but will take selling to circulate. --Gail Richmond, Point Loma High School, San Diego
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395574348
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/30/1991
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 192

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