April 2006

$18.95 AU

173p pb

ISBN: 978-0702234781

His Name In Fire

Catherine Bateson

from the book...

Emma only sings in front of her fish. Matthew's in love. Mozza and Shazza will tell you they need more than another work-for-the-dole project to glitter up their lives.


Abattoir Town is just another town bypassed by the highway until Mollie arives, lugging more than her suitcase of circus tricks.

From award-winning writer Catherine Bateson comes a verse novel which tenderly chronicles country life.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

His Name In Fire, by Catherine Bateson, is a verse novel written about a small country town in outback Australia. Mollie arrives in Abattoir Town with a suitcase and a dream. She stirs up interest around town and scrapes together members for a circus.

The story unfolds as it is told through five different characters. There are three main characters: Mollie, who writes to her boyfriend Seb’s memory; Matt, a teenager who plays the flute and is in love; and Emma, a shy teenage girl who plays the flute and sings and is the object of Matt’s affections. Their thoughts and perceptions are combined with those of Mozza and Shazza, two typical unemployed Aussies who think joining a circus might ease some of their troubles.

Through these five minds, we hear of the building of a circus, from its humble beginning to opening night and beyond, as well as the other details and events in the main character’s past and present. The ending was positive, with all the characters happy and ready to search for new opportunities.

I found His Name In Fire to be a great read, with the story told in verse it helped add to the story rather than detract from it. There are many interesting, frightening and comic encounters in the character’s past and present which help the reader to understand where they’re coming from and where they’re going. People who enjoy young adult Australian fiction and want to read an easy-to-read yet compelling story should love this book.

Frances, age 15, Canberra, Australia

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