Metal Fish, Falling Snow
from Text Publishing...
Dylan and her adored French mother dream of one day sailing across the ocean to France. Paris, Dylan imagines, is a place where her black skin wonít make her stand out, a place where she might feel she belongs.
But when she loses her mother in a freak accident, Dylan finds herself on a very different journey: a road trip across outback Australia in the care of her motherís grieving boyfriend, Pat. As they travel through remote towns further and further from the water that Dylan longs for, she and Pat form an unlikely bond. One that will be broken when he leaves her with the family she has never known.
Metal Fish, Falling Snow is a warm, funny and highly original portrait of a young girlís search for identity and her struggle to deal with grief. Through families lost and found, this own-voices story celebrates the resilience of the human heart and our need to know who we truly are.
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Metal Fish, Falling Snow follows fourteen-year-old biracial Dylan who has recently lost her beloved French mother in a freak accident. In the care of her late mumís boyfriend Pat, she is taken on a road trip across the outback to live with her estranged fatherís family (though she believes they are looking for a boat to sail her Mum's spirit to Paris). Written in the first person, the story takes place firmly in Dylanís mind. It seems that she is neurodiverse and possibly on the autism spectrum, but she is also able to go into other people's memories, so Dylanís narration is a mixture of unique thinking and either magical realism or paranormal ability.
Author Cath Moore details the racism that has been present in Dylanís entire life - her estranged father was from Guyana and she has interpreted her skin colour as a bad thing due to his violence. As well as this, the racist microaggressions she experiences during the story are infuriating for readers. The shared grief Dylan and Pat have over her mum drives the plot and creates a strong bond between the characters.
This book is not a particularly hard text to read, but the themes and some of the events would be better understood by an older reader - I would say fourteen and up. As it is a very personal coming of age story with a bit of fantasy involved, this book can appeal to a wide range of readers.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it!
Eleanor, age 15, Canberra