Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Change the Locks by Simon French

Jacket illustration by Greg Rogers
Change the Locks by Australian author Simon French tackles issues about identity and life in a single parent family. Although it is quite slow moving, this book will not disappoint. The action revolves around Steven who is struggling to remember something traumatic from the past.  One day at school he is given a pen pal to write to as part of the current class project, and the name Elise Turnball stirs something deep in his memory.

"I remember when you were five," Patrick tells his friend Steven. "I remember. You were strange when you first started at the school in town...You don't know where you and your mum came from, it's like you... materialised. It's a mystery, Steven. You should try to solve it or something."

It is these were the words along with the name that start Steven on his journey to uncover the past. He can remember fragments, like being alone on a road in the middle of nowhere and a house full of people in a city environment, far different from where he now resides. His mother flatly refuses to answers his questions. Why?  Things at home aren't too crash hot either, the family car has just been stolen, and baby Dylan keeps him pretty busy as his mum finds it a battle as a single parent. Darryl, Dylan's father has left and his mum is depressed.  And at school, there's Redmond Hall, always ready with a smart remark and out to makes his life difficult. The only thing keeping him sane is his friendship with Patrick Hetherington. Then one day whilst ripping old linoleum an old newspaper from seven years ago is discovered, and it has Steven's photo in it.

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