This book is a mind griping epistolary of perfect execution of history intertwined with imagination. The novel has the charisma to make the readers feel and to become Freda Rosa, the protagonist of Pandemic. It is pitched at first person narration and the trail of thoughts are precise… perfect to the young readers as they will be able to connect and unfold the events as personal as it could get. The plus point is that it may trigger bullet in the young minds to craft their own epistolary on the reminiscences of COVID-19. The story line can act as a perfect beacon of light to germinate more local writers. History is never going to be an element of past or having the preconceived notation of being labelled as monotonous in the manner the story line is being crafted with snippet of poems, songs and anecdotal elements which will surely fascinate the young readers. The parallel illustrations of thoughts especially when Henrietta the chicken was sacrificed to make broth for the Edwardses (pg. 39) kindles an idea of animal cruelty over pet or food for the poor! The illustrations are also in sync with the story line, which is a visual attraction to kill any boredom whist reading. There is a mammoth of figurative language and it does bring very colourful humour, “Tom’sbrother Samuel, who came to live with him from Dunedin, is going to help us on the farm because father and Bobby are as useless as tits on a bull.” (pg. 143).
Teachernotes are supplied. Happy reading!
Title: Pandemic: My New Zealand Story
Author: Sally Stone
Illustrator: Jack and Will Stone
RRP: NZ $18.99
Format: paperback: 198 x 128mm
Date of Publication: November 2020
Ages: 10 + years
Reviewer: Sanjay Prasad, English Teacher, James Cook High School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended.
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Dear Lucy Locket, I officially declare you my new best friend, so I hope you won’t blow hot and cold and make up GIGANTIC stories like my ex-best friend Peral Bennet does.
You can buy this book here