I liked this book, much more than I thought I would. Dumby is the best player in the team but this is not recognised, as is obvious on grand final day. This book had a interesting plot to it. Australian stereotyping, typical Australian racism and a cheesy romance which had nothing to do with the book. This is a very intriguing book and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Brett's trapped in a grave world, a world where he's not hardened at all; he's raw.
Then I realised what it was. By paring his story back to bare bones, Gwynne allows his characters to shine. Does the review system allow for negative star ratings? Rebellious, mixed-race, and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. Just before the grand final Blacky meets Clarence, Dumby's younger sister. When his parents die in a car wreck, he comes to depend on the love, friendship and support of his two older brothers and a gang of friends defined by poverty, bad attitudes and long greasy hair. The whole town wants the footy team to win and it all comes down to the ruckman - to Blacky.
Every day the boy helps his mother earn their living from the sea and the land. Boy was I pleased to find out she was wrong. He's old enough to notice and recognise the inherent racism and bigotry he sees and hears all around him, but he's not yet old enough or educated enough to really understand it. There is another book called Nuckin Ya. The only voice I ever hear is the obnoxious one.
He now lives in Leura, New South Wales, with his wife and three children: aged 17, 2 and 1. However, I don't hold this against the book, but it did make it an even slower read because I wanted to be sure I understood what was going on. When Gary arrives at the funeral Dumby's family thank him for showing his respects at the funeral. If I were editing this book I would get r Take note, this is what happens when you rush writing a book before you have a good or even a coheirent storyline. He's a natural in the water. Otherwise, a utterly unreadable book.
Dumby Red and Blacky don't have a lot in common. Those Nungas were tough, much tougher than us. All the Nungas did, but Dumby more than any of them. There is in the end however a postive outcome for both Gary and the grieving family of Dumby Red. I recommend adding a warning sticker to all copies of the book, advising that is has potential detrimental impacts on mental health.
As long as you take the story as it's told, you will get a lot out of it. Deadly Unna is a fun read with an unfortunate end. But in the quiet way that this book does, rather than the hideously gaudy arm waving way the advocates do, I'd like to say this is a good book, which you'll enjoy reading probably, and its message is a good one. Be warned, there is a lot of swearing in this book, so while the protagonist is only 14, there is no way I'd try and teach it to a class any younger than year 10 even the 19 year olds in my y12 class would snigger whenever I read a passage with a 'rude' word in it. Blacky's voice is convincing for his age, his demographic and his environment.
While I think the book was well written and it sucked me in, it also made me deeply uncomfortable. No one wants to befriend an Aboriginal, to learn about them, understand them, see another perspective. Blacky's family is a riot except for his father, grrr while his friends are kind of annoying. The aboriginals have an entirely different style of play, and one of them, Dumby, is an outstanding player. It also discusses the idea of white hypocrasy in Australia where Aboriginals are concerned. The blurb makes it seem like Dumby Red's a big deal, when he is, in fact, not.
I found the publisher's blurb to be rather misleading, in that it implies much more drama than actually happens and much more interplay between Blacky and Dumby. I felt for Gary, and barracked for his personal qualities to come out and conquer the daily ordeal of living with such a horrid man. With minor spoilers, an aboriginal boy dies. I found it to be a sensitive, insightful, and hilarious observation of culture and youth. Pretty tough for a sensitive kid who'se just trying to increase his word usage, not get killed in the ruck and stand up for his indigenous mate, Dumby Red; especially when the attractive Cathy arrives in town for a camping trip. Blacky is growing up in a remote town where footy Australian rules football is the only entertainment around.
. The community has a Footy team called the Port footy team. He becomes confident enough about his identity not to conform and starts to stand up for what is right. The big questions in life for most kids don't necessarily involve musings such as why white Australians and Indigenous Australians shouldn't mix, and Gary has plenty of other challenges from playing footy to being 'a man' in the eyes of his abusive Father. The two main characters in this book are two boys called Dumby Red and Blacky. But Blacky is at a crossroads.