Title Don't Pat the Wombat!
Binding Glossy Pictorial Soft Cover
Book Condition Good
Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Australia Allen & Unwin 1996
1864480947 / 9781864480948
Seller ID 056116
144pp. This quirky, slangy Australian novel opens as narrator Mark Ryder and his middle-school classmates are off to "school camp," where they are to try on the lifestyle of pioneers. Not long after the kids arrive at camp, which doubles as a wildlife refuge (and is home to a wallaby and two wombats), a teacher falls ill. When the meanest teacher in school, known as The Bomb, is sent to replace him, everyone is appalledÄespecially Jonah, an independent-minded new boy who has drawn The Bomb's ire. The angry, alcoholic teacher's frightening hostility to Jonah, as well as details that emerge about the boy's background, provide the ballast for this otherwise light caper, in which the campers spring from one misadventure to the next. They slather one another with mud while building a pioneer-like structure of sticks and mud, become covered with leeches while exploring an old mine and overflow the sink after pouring too much soap into the dishwater. Organized into sometimes choppy vignettes, Mark's narrative is studded with Australian expressions and occasional digressionsÄas well as some genuinely funny comments and observations, e.g., in a letter home, Mark writes, "Give my love to the T.V. Tell it I will be home on Friday." Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12.