16 December 2009

I lost my mobile at the mall

by Wendy Harmer

Random House. Australian, Junior, Young Adult. Paperback rrp $17.95

What happens when a teenage girl loses her lifeline to her friends, family and everything she cares about? Fifteen-year-old Elly Pickering finds out when she loses her favourite yellow handbag somewhere at the mall. Inside is her boyfriend’s friendship ring, a new belt, money and her life – also known as her mobile! Elly is devastated. How can life go on without her phone? How will her friends, family and most importantly her boyfriend contact her? Her social life will certainly die.

Elly ends up losing more than her social life. She also loses perspective and common sense. She foolishly believes things that are happening around her are a direct result of her losing her phone. Why does her wonderful boyfriend, Will, lie to her and why are there a number of incriminating photos of him and another girl posted all over the internet? Why does Jai, her best friend’s boyfriend, post humiliating photos of Elly on the internet? What can she do?

Elly’s only other source of social attachment, her computer, is subsequently stolen. Elly is now without a mobile, has no landline at home (her parents thought mobiles were easier) and no computer and internet. What’s a girl to do? With help from her grandmother, Elly reverts to the old fashioned way, using pen and ink.

Soon Elly realises that maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem and that communicating without technology is more personal and romantic. “I wonder if things go missing for a reason. As if by their absence, they might be trying to tell you something. To make you see life in a new way.”

I lost my mobile at the mall is a clever and funny look at one teenager’s dilemma. But there are a number of universal truths in the story. Why do the teens of today HAVE to have a mobile? What is wrong with sending a letter or speaking face-to-face with someone? Have our social standards changed for better or worse? As Elly discovers, life doesn’t stop if you have no credit or you are out of range and good things can come out of a seemingly hopeless situation.


Random House Australia is also offering teens an exciting new way to extend the book experience via a dedicated website designed especially to be viewed on mobile phones, in an Australian publishing industry first, readers can access this site via scanning the QR code published on the back cover of the book. This allows potential readers while browsing in a bookstore to enter competitions, watch a video from Wendy, access social networking sites and read what others thought of the book – all before buying a copy.

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