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School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-Coming from a family of criminals has taught sixth grader Bridget the skills she needs to survive one of Australia's top notch boarding schools. It is also the secret she's trying desperately to hide. Her parents have enrolled her in boarding school after her older brother is sent to prison for shoplifting. Though they deal in illegal imports, they don't approve of stealing and they want their daughter to make a better life for herself. Bridget is keenly aware of this pressure to succeed at her new school and the fact that they could be in a heap of trouble if their secret comes out. It's difficult to make friends when you can't open up, but Bridget finds a kindred soul in a boy called Menzies. Soon Bridget's familial woes are replaced by a new and more serious predicament-helping Menzie free two Afghani refugee children from a detention center. This novel by Australian author Morris Gleitzman is a companion to Boy Overboard, where refugees Jamal and Bibi are first introduced. It is not necessary to have read Boy Overboard first, but many listeners will want to hear the story that inspires Bridget and Menzies' bravery. Gleitzman explores themes of courage, friendship, and social injustice with plenty of humor and intrigue to keep listeners involved. Mary-Anne Fahey's narration perfectly captures Bridget's innocence and quirky sense of humor. It's also fascinating to hear another country's perspective on current world issues. A great way to add some international flavor to school and public library collections.-April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.