AWW2013 – Book 23
Children’s Historical Fiction
Another one in the extensive Our Australian Girl series. Can I just pause here to say how much I like the way that different girls (or mini series within the larger series) are written by different authors. It’s a great way to expose readers to different authors and different styles of writing, while under the same umbrella of a series. I also like that there’s no ‘hiding’ behind one single author name, like there is with other children’s series.
Meet Alice is set in 1918, with World War One affecting every part of Alice’s Western Australian community. Most of the men she knows are overseas serving in the war, while the rest of the town are wrapped up in supporting them. However, things are a little different in Alice’s household. Although her father is serving overseas (and is currently missing), her mother doesn’t like to hear about the war. Alice and her siblings are forced to follow war news in secret, while her older brother, Teddy, is wrestling with his own decision about whether to join up or not. Meanwhile, Alice’s life is devoted to her ballet, with a special teacher coming soon to watch her dance. But then things start to unravel, and Alice isn’t sure what she’ll be left with at the end.
Davina Bell does a lovely job of setting up a small town feel during this book, the way everyone knows everyone’s business and how people feel like they can comment on this business. It also points out how it feels to be different from other people – Alice is different from the other girls in town thanks to her devotion to ballet, while her whole family is different since they’re not as involved in the ‘war effort’ as other people and since her mother is French.
This is probably one of my favourites in the series, which Heidi at Heidi Reads totally knew it would be when she recommended it 🙂 I’ve read the next one, and will be reviewing it later today, and I can’t wait to get into the third in the series.