Title: Jasper Jones
Author: Craig Silvey
On a sweltering summer night in an Australian country town, 13 year old Charlie Bucktin is startled by a knock on his bedroom window. Jasper Jones is the outcast of the town who desperately needs Charlie’s help. Charlie barely knows Jasper, but trusts him enough to climb out into the night and follow Jasper deep into the bush. What he finds is shocking and alarming, but what Jasper asks Charlie to help him do will put a brick in Charlie’s stomach that will not shift.
Through the eyes of Charlie we access a wonderful insight into what it was like living in a small country town in the late 1960’s, with an interesting mix of characters with their prejudices, family problems, isolation and loneliness. Charlie also takes us into the world of a young teenage boy with hilarious banter between himself and his Vietnamese-Australian friend Jeffery, and the experience of first love.
Charlie is an avid reader, and finds himself asking the question “what would Atticus Finch (from to Kill a mockingbird) do in this situation?
I loved reading this book; one of those books where you don’t what it to end. It’s humorous, dramatic, suspenseful and mysterious. What more could you want?