A novel about taking on new challenges, dealing with change and growing up, All the Little Tricky Things is perfect for readers about to start secondary school, or those moving into a new stage in life.
It's the start of the summer holidays and twelve-year-old Bertie is worried. Next year she's going to a high school in the city, while all her friends stay behind in Merri, the small town she's lived in all her life.
To help her feel better prepared for high school, her best friend, Claire, makes a list of tasks Bertie has to complete over the summer. They start working through the list together, only to find that some of the cracks in their friendship are beginning to show. Soon, Bertie's not even sure she'll have one friend by the end of the summer.
All the Little Tricky Things is a charming, heartfelt novel about a time when everything is changing, and a girl who's trying to make sense of it all.
This is a fabulous debut novel by the president of the CBCA's Victorian branch, Karys McEwen. As a school librarian she clearly understands young people, their feelings and what they need to read.
The storyline follows Bertie's life as she transitions from Grade 6 into high school. She suffers from anxiety and has always lived in the shadow of her best friend, Claire. Now Bertie is going to go to a big school in the city (one hour each way by train), and she is not at all sure that she will be able to cope with the upheaval.
When they add the new girl, Shiny, to their friendship group, Bertie soon feels that three is a crowd and that Claire is replacing her. How will Bertie cope with all of this upheaval?
This is a tremendous story about growing up, facing your fears and dealing with change. It is beautifully written, and will be a really useful asset for both upper primary students facing high school, as well as for those new to high school who are finding the move challenging. It is also just a lovely read for all those in upper primary and above.
Reviewed by Rob