‘The Telegram’ is set during World War 1, where due to changing family circumstances, 14 year old Beaty has to leave school and enter the workforce.
When a vacancy comes up for a telegram boy Beaty takes up the position. She faces many challenges from acceptance in the male dominated business to dealing with delivering sometimes devastating news to many families. Beaty is taken from the small secure community she knows and introduced to a town full of people with stories and situations she may never have encountered. All the while she is desperately hoping for news of her friend’s brother who is fighting in the war.
This is a great example of a strong female character dealing with limited opportunities for women and overcoming the odds to find a way forward to achieve her goals. There are a range of relationships explored throughout the text which brings a richness to the story and could lead to many interesting book club discussions.
Philippa Werry transported me back through time to a believable scene set here in New Zealand. She brought a different perspective to the trials of those at home during the war. I loved this book from beginning to end and would definitely recommend it for mature primary to young adult readers.
Title: The Telegram
Author : Philippa Werry
Publisher: Pipi Press
Date of Publication: April 2019
Reviewer: Elaine Wills, Library Manager, Enner Glynn School, Nelson
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
First sentence: I never found out what day my best friend Beth’s brother died, I only remember the day we found out.
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