A couple of years ago, Tristan Bancks received well-deserved accolades for Two Wolves. For many years, I had been lamenting the absence of books for upper primary that were gripping, thought-provoking and accessible, yet not filled with inappropriate language or 'mature themes'. At the time, I thought Two Wolves was revolutionary.
I had been eager to read Detention since last year, and recently devoured it in one sitting. It did not disappoint. One of the things I love most about Bancks' writing is the respect he shows to his young audience. He presents complex ethical dilemmas without preaching or patronising. As with Two Wolves, the reader is goaded into asking, "what would I do?" throughout every chapter. The young protagonists are both attempting to escape from vastly different types of detention - one imposed by the government, and one imposed by poverty and a dysfunctional family. Bancks avoids the temptation to gloss over his minor characters or have them morph into stereotypes, and instead draws them with depth and nuance. Their small roles help paint a much bigger picture. Similarly, the sparse settings and barren landscape provide a perfect backdrop for the gritty and tense storyline.
I loved this book. Bancks is a master of intelligent writing that connects with the reader in a deep and profound way.
Please find here an assorted mix of what I tend to read - new books, old books, birthday gifts, gifts to myself, books from my to-be-read pile, Book Group books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs - basically a weird assortment of goodies!
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