12 May 2009

Shape Shifters

by Goldie Alexander, illustrated by Dion Hamill

Aussie School Books. Australian, Young Reader, Fantasy. Paperback rrp $9.95

Guest Reviewer - Anastasia Gonis

Each story in the terrific Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! series presents a lesson to be learned inside a simple story line. The stories are told in simple language, with the characters involved in an adventure or some other exciting occurrence. The accompanying illustrations are geared to hold the interest of the reader by visually reinforcing what is going on.

Themes in Shape Shifters are bullying, facing the consequences of our actions and knowing how to choose between right and wrong.

Lei-Lei is the new girl at school. She also has a prosthetic limb. Her grandmother has taught her shape-shifting as a way of protecting herself from bullies. But her grandmother has also made it very clear that she is to use it only for self-protection or to help others.

Acacia is the school bully. When she starts to bully Lei-Lei, she is turned temporarily into a tree. Penny too, has felt Acacia’s cruelty and is astonished at the new girl’s ability to defend herself. She asks to be taught how it is done.

Lei-Lei’s grandmother shows Penny how, adding the usual caution about its use. But things get a bit complicated when her advice is not headed. It is through lessons learned that both girls are able to help and protect others as well as themselves when an accident occurs, by choosing the right way to use their gifts.

These books are from a company that is 100% Australian owned, operating in Australia, and printed in this country on Australian paper.

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