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Saving Francesca

By Melina Marchetta

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Format: Paperback, 256 pages
Published In: Australia, 05 June 2006
Francesca is at the beginning of her second term in Year Eleven at an all boy's school that has just started accepting girls. She still misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed. But Francesca had not counted on the fierce loyalty of her new friends, or falling in love, or finding that it's within her power to bring her family back together. From the internationally best-selling and award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi, On the Jellicoe Road, The Piper's Son and the Lumatere Chronicles this is her much-loved novel told with humour, compassion and joy.

About the Author

Melina Marchetta is one of Australia's most successful writers of young-adult fiction and is a best-selling and critically acclaimed author in more than twenty countries and in eighteen languages. In 2009 Marchetta won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for On the Jellicoe Road, and Melina's screenplay for this book is currently set to be made into a major film with an international cast to be directed by Looking for Alibrandi director Kate Woods. Melina has written for ABC-TV's Dance Academy. Finnikin of the Rock, Book One of the Lumatere Chronicles,was first published in Australia in 2008, followed in 2010 by the companion novel to her award-winning book Saving Francesca, The Piper's Son, long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and short-listed for many other literary awards in Australia and internationally. Melina is also the author of The Gorgon in the Gully, which takes up the story of On the Jellicoe Road's Jonah Griggs's family, and stars his younger brother Danny in this story for younger readers. Book Two in the Lumatere Chronicles, Froi of the Exiles, was published in 2011, and Book Three, Quintana of Charyn, was published in 2012. 2012 also marked the twenty-year anniversary of Melina Marchetta's first novel Looking for Alibrandi, the much-loved Au


Sixteen-year-old Francesca's compelling voice will carry readers along during a transitional year in her family and school life. The narrator's vivacious mother falls into a deep depression soon after the teen narrator starts "Year Eleven" at St. Sebastian's, a Sydney boys' school now accepting but not particularly accommodating to girls (a teacher refers to the class as "gentlemen"; Francesca describes being outnumbered 750 to 30, as "either living in a fish bowl or like you don't exist"). Slowly, she begins to put down roots at her school, bonding with the girls from St. Stella's (her former school) whom she had considered misfits, and with some unlikely guys. She even finds herself falling for Will, whom she originally called "a stick-in-the-mud moron with no personality." Francesca also lets out her own personality, which she had kept hidden at St. Stella's because of her conceited friends. Her mother's illness takes its toll, though. Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi) beautifully depicts the pain experienced by Francesca's whole family (at a wedding without her mother, Francesca observes while dancing with both her father and brother that even "combined, we feel like an amputee"), and Francesca's anger towards her father starts to escalate ("You think you can fix everything by forgetting about it but you just make things worse," she tells him). Readers will applaud the realistic complexity in the relationships here, the genuine love between the characters, as well as Francesca's ultimate decision to save herself. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-There have been lots of changes for Francesca as she starts Year Eleven at St. Sebastian's, a formerly all-boys school that has grudgingly admitted 30 coeds. She misses her old friends, but mostly she misses her mother, a strong vocal communications lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, who has slipped into a severe depression and can't get out of bed. Francesca is also facing challenges at school. Suddenly, she's hanging out with new friends, girls who were so uncool at St. Stella's, and it's impossible to talk things over with her mother as she once did. Life gets more complicated when she develops a crush on Will Trombal, who can't seem to make up his mind whether he wants to be with her or his current girlfriend. The trials continue throughout the year, and a conflict with her father brings everything to a head. At that point Francesca begins to understand what really matters, who her friends are, and, most importantly, who she is. This is a complex, deliberately paced, coming-of-age story. It is only through a long, hard climb that Francesca eventually begins to have hope again, but there is still a long way to go at the story's closing. Despite the seriousness of the subject and some occasional strong language, the book also has great characterizations, witty dialogue, a terrific relationship between Francesca and her younger brother, and a sweet romance. Teens will relate to this tender novel and will take to heart its solid messages and realistic treatment of a very real problem.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780143000976
ISBN: 0143000977
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 1.9 centimeters (0.19 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
Deanne Berry on
My favourite book of all time!. You will laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. This book tells the story of Francesca a teenager whom is aggrivated by the change of schools her mother insisted on. Francesca is away from all her 'so called' friends and feeling more alone than ever in a boys school that only recently turned co-ed. Francesca's world is turned upside down not only at school but at home. This story is told with humour, and sensitivity. I would recommend this to any female, and fans of melina marchetta's work.

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