Lothian Books: YA Fiction

October 2001


190p pb

ISBN: 978-0734402493

Volcano Boy

Libby Hathorn

from the book...

'A real volcano boy,' his mother had called him.

Placed in the custody of his puritanical but well-meaning Uncle frank, Alexander moves from Brisbane to volcano-circled Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. There the dark powers of the rumbling volcano call to him as irresistibly as the dark eyes of Alice, his newfound love. Alexander records his experiences in a moving, candid journal that surfaces many years after the volcano's fury has settled to ash.

Libby Hathorn's powerful prose poem describes her young hero's journey of discovery from despair to fresh hope.

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

Volcano Boy a verse novel by Libby Hathorn is the private journal of an assumed dead boy’s confusion and experiences in life.

When his sister commits suicide and his mother dies of grief, the boy is sent to live with his uncle in Papua New Guinea. Holding back the anger and pain in being left behind he calls himself ’Volcano Boy’ a hateful name his mother used to call him as an insult. Taking comfort in imaginings of a nearby volcano and imagining the fiery molten depths, Volcano Boy becomes obsessed with the volcano.

Volcano Boy is an interesting, mysterious novel that portrays a sad story of a boy who has lost his family and is about to explode with all his feelings that he had bottled up inside with feelings of hate, rejection, and love. Written with poetry to add to the mood of the novel he symbolises quotes from poems.

I enjoyed this book because you really have to think about its context and what happens because you have to assume some of the story. Falling in love with Alice, making friends with Joe, his jealousy of Joe’s brother, and his uncle being attacked by cannibals all add up to an intriguing and exciting novel for older readers.

Annie, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

Volcano Boy is about a boy, Alexander, whose mother and sister have died. He is sent to Papua New Guinea with his Uncle Frank, where he meets a girl called Alice. Alexander records past events in a journal that is found years after a volcano has erupted and settled to ash.

I enjoyed this story which would suit readers 15 and over.

Simon, age 14, Blacktown, Australia

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