04 June, 2015

Book Review: Nona & Me

From GoodreadsRosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas.
They are also best friends. It doesn’t matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.
Born just five days apart in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, the girls are inseperable, until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they’re in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie has lost interest in the community, preferring to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena, and Selena’s gorgeous older brother Nick.
When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she be forced to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?

Thoughts: This is the second of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) shortlisted Older Readers books. Every now and then you come across a book that you know will end up on the high school recommended reading list. I think this is one and I really hope I'm right. Nona & Me managed to bring to the forefront many of the issues of Australia's remote Aboriginal communities without making you feel like you were being preached to. It highlighted how difficult it can be to hold onto your convictions when you are young and desperate to fit in. That in itself was refreshing in YA fiction - a protagonist who wasn't the strange, quirky kid, able to stand up for what they believed no matter the opposition. The reality is most teenagers are desperate to fit in, be liked, be part of the crowd. I found the portrayal of Rosie a lot more believable than many YA characters.
There is so much to explore in this book. So much room for discussion and debate. Everything from human rights to the right to force your views on your children. An excellent book.

Nona & Me gets 4 stars!

 *        Did not like it
**       It was OK
***      Liked it
****    Really liked it
*****   It was amazing