Jack’s Island

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Jack’s family is based on Rottnest Island during WWII while his father helps build an airfield. Jack and his best friend Banjo have the run of the island and a remarkable knack for getting into trouble — but as Jack says, ’I’m not that bad, I just get caught a lot!’ Dafty, a simple but loveable young boy, dotes on Banjo and Jack. When Dafty seeks revenge against the local schoolmaster for a punishment inflicted on Banjo, life suddenly becomes more serious. This poignant, multi-layered text offers young readers a valuable insight into life in Australia during the war.

Jack Jones lives with his family on an island off the coast of Western Australia, where his father is employed as a labourer building the new aerodrome. Set during World War II, the plot of Jack’s Island unfolds in a series of episodes; some hilarious, others deeply moving. Jack’s inquisitive, often impulsive nature leads him into adventures all over the island, always in the company of his best friend, Banjo. His experiences, and those of his neighbours, show Jack the human capacity for courage and kindness in difficult circumstances.

The novel is funny and affectionate, without ever trivialising the hardships of war and the lasting effects of the Great Depression. Teachers who have enjoyed working with Tim Winton’s Lockie Leonard series will find that Jack’s Island has the same broad appeal, and provides an ideal vehicle for exploring narrative and literary conventions, historical context, and a range of issues.

Dimensions198 × 128 × 13 mm

Fremantle Press. 2008






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