Friday, May 2, 2008

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park

Rating: 8/10

Published: 1981
Number of pages: 196

Started: 27 April 2008
Finished: 29 April 2008

Summary (taken from blurb):
The game is called Beatie Bow and the children play it for the thrill of scaring themselves. But when Abigail is drawn in, the game is quickly transformed into an extraordinary, sometimes horrifying, adventure as she finds herself transported to a place that is foreign yet strangely familiar.

Abigail is an insightful, although not always likeable, teenager who lives in The Rocks, an historic area located next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. While chasing a young girl through the maze and alleys of The Rocks, Abigail finds herself transported back in time over 100 years, to a time when poverty and illness were widespread, and lives were very different. She is taken in by a family and discovers that she must help them to preserve The Gift.

The story is well-written and Victorian-era Sydney is portrayed very realistically (presumably, I wouldn't actually know having never lived in that time myself!). What I mean to say is, The Rocks are really brought to life. I know the area a bit, which is always an asset when reading. It's a very interesting place and I'd love to go and retrace Abigail's steps through the labyrinth that is The Rocks.

I last read this book when I was in primary school, some 15 years ago at least, and I had very vague recollections of it. I think it's still a common text in most primary schools, and long may it remain that way!

No comments: