At what point would you impart lifechanging news to a loved one? This is the dilemma for parents of crash victim Zara – the main character. Zara, in a coma, can hear everything her visitors talk about, providing the tension for this gripping book.
Zara can hear her best friend griping on about school and the mean kids. And hear her parents discussing ‘arrangements’. But Zara’s brother Jem is the only one who knows her secrets. I wanted to get out of the cupboard but, I was frightened. It might be a trick to get me. Where is Jem?
Broken delivers a punchy story of how a teen faces and deals with challenges. There are many aspects for readers to identify with or explore: extreme experiences, relationships, survival, communication, coming of age and honesty.
Pulford has crafted a great story that will appeal to all. Comic strips and newspaper clipping graphics provide variety and reinforce Zara’s experiences. This use of mixed media enhances reading accessibility.
Above all the issues explored within Broken leave the reader with the question – what would you do if you were exposed to the challenges Zara negotiates?
Author: Elizabeth Pulford
Illustrator: Angus Gomes
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Date of publication: 2012
Ages: 11 upwards
Reviewer name/details: Michele Ayres, Librarian, Motueka High School, Tasman
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
Book opening sentence: My head is full of bubbles.