05 May, 2011

The Taste of Apple

Title: The Taste of Apple
Author: James Laidler
Genre: Verse
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Book and CD - Library

Synopsis: Pedro Jones doesn’t know what the future holds. His dad has left and he and his mum are forced to move into commission housing. There he meets Johnny Lazzaro, an East Timorese refugee who gets Pedro involved in the free East Timor movement and teaches him about the important things in life.

What I thought: This was an amazing, incredible, thought provoking book. Written entirely in verse, it challenges the reader to really think and absorb what is going on. The verse format gives a quick flow to the book, requiring the author to leave out any non essential information. I found the lack of description refreshing, allowing me to picture the scene in my head without any preconceptions of what the author saw. But best of all for me, I could easily follow the story, something I have previously had problems with when reading books in verse. Accompanying the book was a CD which had some of the verses spoken as well as some musical tracks relevant to the book. Throughout the book, CD icons appeared letting you know which track  you should listen to at that time. While listening to the CD would not  be essential, I found it really added to the feel of the book. A Taste of Apples would be a great book for a high school class (think year 9/10. In Australia, those kids would be 15/16 years old), especially with reluctant readers as the verse makes it a lot less confrontational. It also would provide great discussion points on Australia’s involvement in East Timor and their fight for independence.

Recommended for: those who like YA that is not traditional.