April 2

Shadows in the Mirror by Cameron Nunn

Once again Black Dog Books has a winner. I really would like to meet their talent scout because again this is a book by a first time author. One of my personal guides to the quality of a book that I have read is how long the story line sticks with me. Since I read a book a day on average, a plot that sticks is important. And this book has it. Several time in the past few weeks I have reached to recommend it as ‘just the right thing’.

This book appears on the surface to be a true condemnation of private school education, especially boarding schools. However the situations that are found at this school can also be true of many workplaces or other communities that are found in our society.

David has been attending Hamilton College since year 7. He has learned the rules, don’t dob, keep your head down, say nothing to attract the attention of the bullies (teachers or senior students) and work on your rugby because that will give you an edge. Just before he is due to start year 11, his parents decide to move to the country and a new job. David begs to be allowed to board, and his parents relent. His new roommate is Simon, the son of a rugby great. But Simon is no rugby star, in fact he is the ideal victim. When the bullying begins, Simon looks to David for support and friendship, but 5 years of training by the school has taught David that interference is useless.

To say much more would be to spoil the story. And that would be a shame. Just accept my recommendation. This book will make you think about violence in our society, real and implied.

Posted April 2, 2007 by cssutton in category School Stories, Upper Secondary +

About the Author

I have reviewed books for years for Buzz Magazine under the pseudonym Lowly Bookworm. Now everyone can see what I think about what I read.

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