The Last Week in December-Rebecca Macauley, Ursula Dubosarsky

  • Title: The Last Week in December
  • Author: Rebecca Macauley, Ursula Dubosarsky
  • Released: 2004-02-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 0
  • ISBN: 1740933311
  • ISBN13: 978-1740933315
  • ASIN: 1740933311


From School Library Journal Grade 3-6-Ursula Dubosarsky's The Last Week in December is an enjoyable and thought-provoking opportunity for American children to learn about life in the remote Australian outback. Eleven-year-old Bella and her family receive word that Bella's English grandparents are coming to visit. Three years earlier, their visit was the source of Bella's greatest shame-she stole her grandfather's leather pouch. Terrified her grandparents will confront her about the theft, Bella spends the entire visit in fear that her parents will think less of her. However, they have their hands full with their stereotypical English visitors who don't enjoy the isolation that Bella's family relishes. Bella is an imaginative, humorous, endearing, and moral character who wants only to maintain the status quo. Reader Rebecca Macauley effectively conveys Bella's tendency toward a runaway imagination as well as her fear of exposure. Listeners learn along with Bella that not all people are as scary or unsympathetic as they may initially seem, and that some things can be forgiven. At the end of the trying visit, Bella discovers that her grandmother knew all along that Bella had taken the pouch. She reassures Bella that all children steal, and that she'll just take the pouch back to England so her husband can "find" it. The book ends on an ironic note when Bella's grandfather sends her the pouch as a gift, remembering how fascinated by it she had been as a child. This book by an award-winning Australian author conveys in a humorous manner some quite serious subjects, such as faith and morality. Hopefully, there will be many more Australian imports to the American children's audio market.
B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the edition.

From Three years ago, when Bella was 8, she stole her grandfather's beautiful pouch. Now her English grandparents are visiting Australia again, and Bella is fearful that she'll be confronted with her deed. Narrator Rebecca Macauley movingly conveys Bella's fear, shame, and regret while also delivering the adults' much different perspective. Macauley successfully mingles both English and Australian accents in a manner understandable to American listeners. An excellent lesson is presented through a moving story. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine pdf
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