Pookie Aleera Is Not My Boyfriend
from the book...
In a country town, in a school just like yours, the kids in Class 6A tell their stories.
There’s Mick, school captain and sometime trouble-maker, who wants to make the school a better place, while his younger brother Jacob just wants to fly. There’s shy and lonely Laura who hopes to finally fit in with a circle of friends, while Pete struggles to deal with his grandpa’s sudden death. Popular Selina obsesses over class comedian Cameron, while Cameron obsesses over Anzac biscuits and Pookie Aleera – whoever that is!
For new teacher Ms Arthur, it’s another world, but for Mr Korsky, the school groundskeeper, he’s seen it all before.
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Set in a small country school, this story, told in verse, shares the ups and downs of class 6A. Told from various perspectives of class members as well as class teacher, groundskeeper and even visiting police officer, the story has at its heart the value of friendship and kindness. The assortment of characters and their own story adds depth to this multi-voice narrative; we have the lonely Laura who longs to fit in, the often misunderstood Mick a natural leader who is prone to getting himself in trouble, his younger brother Jacob and the hapless Mr Korsky, school groundskeeper. There are also plenty of laughs to be had usually at the expense of Constable Dawes and class comedian Cameron. These are all wonderfully delightful characters with whom readers will readily identify.
With such a sense of fun as well as the important theme of friendship this book is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers and is certainly a very accessible verse novel. The first person narratives provide readers with an emotional connection with each character and it feels as if you are sharing a conversation with them. This is a wonderful verse novel for readers in mid primary to lower secondary readers and is deserving of being short listed in the 2013 CBCA Awards.
Stephen, Canberra, Australia