An exciting collaboration from two of Australia's favourite middle-grade authors.
It's midnight and I'm alone in the kitchen eating a cold potato scallop. Coach O'Call would say something like, 'That's not what I expect from a scholarship girl!' because I have to be up for squad training in five hours and I'm not supposed to go near potato scallops, and-oh, yeah-it's my fifth.
Cat has recently started at a new school on a sports scholarship, and she's feeling the pressure of early morning training sessions and the need for total commitment. Fanny loves to swim and she lives for racing, but family chores and low expectations for girls make it very hard for her to fit in even the occasional training session.
Cat and Fanny have never met. They both live in the same Sydney suburb, but in different worlds, or at least different times - Cat in current-day Sydney, and Fanny in 1908. But one day, time slips and they swap places.
As each girl lives the other's life, with all the challenges and confusion it presents, she comes to appreciate and understand herself and the role of swimming in her own life.
Narrated in alternating chapters by Cat and Fanny, Elsewhere Girls is a moving and funny story of two girls with a deep connection, one based on the Australian Olympic champion, Fanny Durack. It's a fresh and engaging exploration of the challenges and pressures for young women growing up in the past and today.
Cat and Fanny are two swimmers born in different centuries. One day they are both swimming in Wylie’s baths and time slips and they swap lives.
Cat struggles to cope with the enormous difficulties of living in 1908, while Fanny marvels at the technology that makes life easy in 2021 and is amazed at what women are allowed to do.
This is a fantastic novel showcasing the different challenges faced by two young swimmers from different eras. It is told one chapter from each at a time, so you get a wonderful sense of how confused each girl is and how they are trying to understand the vastly different societies they find themselves in.
This is a brilliant novel for those who love history and sport, but will resonate particularly with girls. Best suited to readers in upper primary and lower secondary levels.
Reviewed by Michelle