Don't Pat the Wombat!
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|Format:||Paperback, 144 pages, New edition Edition|
|Other Information: ||b&w illustrations|
|Published In: ||Australia, 01 September 2000|
Hugely popular novel about grade six school camp.
Shortlisted, Fiction for Older Readers, Young Australians Best Book Award (YABBA) 1999 (Vic), Winner, Years 3-5 Section, Children Rate Outstanding Writers/illustrators (CROW) Award 1997, Shortlisted, Secondary Divison, ACT Canberra's Own Outstanding
This quirky, slangy Australian novel opens as narrator Mark Ryder and his middle-school classmates are off to "school camp," where they are to try on the lifestyle of pioneers. Not long after the kids arrive at camp, which doubles as a wildlife refuge (and is home to a wallaby and two wombats), a teacher falls ill. When the meanest teacher in school, known as The Bomb, is sent to replace him, everyone is appalledÄespecially Jonah, an independent-minded new boy who has drawn The Bomb's ire. The angry, alcoholic teacher's frightening hostility to Jonah, as well as details that emerge about the boy's background, provide the ballast for this otherwise light caper, in which the campers spring from one misadventure to the next. They slather one another with mud while building a pioneer-like structure of sticks and mud, become covered with leeches while exploring an old mine and overflow the sink after pouring too much soap into the dishwater. Organized into sometimes choppy vignettes, Mark's narrative is studded with Australian expressions and occasional digressionsÄas well as some genuinely funny comments and observations, e.g., in a letter home, Mark writes, "Give my love to the T.V. Tell it I will be home on Friday." Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 5-7-Australian sixth-grader Mark Ryder narrates this account of his school trip to "pioneer camp" out in the bush where students and teachers have experiences ranging from funny to near tragic. Mary, the resident head of the camp, teaches the students basic survival skills while maintaining the facility as an animal refuge. She advises them not to touch the wombats, so that they will return to the bush when they mature. While the book deals with the theme of friendship, it also focuses on how Jonah, a new boy in Mark's class, copes with a bullying teacher who is a reputed alcoholic with a particular dislike for him. Mary uses her skills for helping orphaned animals to help Jonah deal with the situation. A leech attack, a playful mud fight, a midnight prank, and a talent show are just some of the highlights of the holiday. The book includes photographs that Mark takes with his newly acquired camera, childlike cartoons, and occasional dialogue balloons. The humorous short chapters, informal tone, and camaraderie among the boys are sure to make Wombat! a hit, even with reluctant readers.-Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
|Publisher: ||Allen & Unwin|
|Dimensions: ||19.0 x 13.0 x 1.0 centimeters (0.13 kg)|