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Jasper Jones : a novel / Craig Silvey.

By: Silvey, Craig, 1982-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2010Copyright date: ©2009Description: 397 pages ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781742372624; 9781760295929.Subject(s): Friendship -- Fiction | Racism -- Fiction | Secrecy -- Fiction | School text | Australian fiction -- 21st centuryDDC classification: A823.4 Summary: Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleepout. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie steals into the night by his side, terrified but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him through town to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery." -- Publisher.
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default Keilor Library
Fiction SILV On reserve IA0696371 1
Default Sunshine Library
Fiction SILV Available IA1321417
Default Sydenham Library (DIY)
Fiction SILV Available IA1321506
Default Keilor Library (DIY)
Fiction SILV Issued 24/08/2019 IA1321467
Total reserves: 1

Previously published: 2009.

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleepout. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie steals into the night by his side, terrified but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him through town to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery." -- Publisher.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

1 Jasper Jones has come to my window. I don't know why, but he has. Maybe he's in trouble. Maybe he doesn't have anywhere else to go. Either way, he's just frightened the living shit out of me. This is the hottest summer I can remember, and the thick heat seems to seep in and keep in my sleepout. It's like the earth's core in here. The only relief comes from the cooler air that creeps in between the slim slats of my single window. It's near impossible to sleep, so I've spent most of my nights reading by the light of my kerosene lamp. Tonight was no different. And when Jasper Jones rapped my louvres abruptly with his knuckle and hissed my name, I leapt from my bed, spilling my copy of Pudd'nhead Wilson. "Charlie! Charlie!" I knelt like a sprinter, anxious and alert. "Who is it?" "Charlie! Come out here!" "Who is it?" "It's Jasper!" "What? Who?" "Jasper. Jasper!"--and he pressed his face right up into the light. His eyes green and wild. I squinted. "What? Really? What is it?" "I need your help. Just come out here and I'll explain," he whispered. "What? Why?" "Jesus Christ, Charlie! Just hurry up! Get out here." And so, he's here. Jasper Jones is at my window. Shaken, I clamber onto the bed and remove the dusty slats of glass, piling them on my pillow. I quickly kick into a pair of jeans and blow out my lamp. As I squeeze headfirst out of the sleepout, something invisible tugs at my legs. This is the first time I've ever dared to sneak away from home. The thrill of this, coupled with the fact that Jasper Jones needs my help, already fills the moment with something portentous. My exit from the window is a little like a foal being born. It's a graceless and gangly drop, directly onto my mother's gerbera bed. I emerge quickly and pretend it didn't hurt. It's a full moon tonight, and very quiet. Neighborhood dogs are probably too hot to bark their alarm. Jasper Jones is standing in the middle of our backyard. He shifts his feet from right to left as though the ground were smoldering. Jasper is tall. He's only a year older than me, but looks a lot more. He has a wiry body, but it's defined. His shape and his muscles have already sorted themselves out. His hair is a scruff of rough tufts. It's pretty clear he hacks at it himself. Jasper Jones has outgrown his clothes. His button-up shirt is dirty and fit to burst, and his short pants are cut just past the knee. He wears no shoes. He looks like an island castaway. He takes a step toward me. I take one back. "Okay. Are you ready?" "What? Ready for what?" "I tole you. I need your help, Charlie. Come on." His eyes are darting, his weight presses back. I'm excited but afraid. I long to turn and wedge myself through the horse's arse from which I've just fallen, to sit safe in the hot womb of my room. But this is Jasper Jones, and he has come to me. "Okay. Wait," I say, noticing my feet are bare. I head toward the back steps, where my sandals sit, scrubbed clean and perfectly aligned. As I strap them on, I realize that this, the application of pansy footwear, is my first display of girlishness and has taken me mere moments. So I jog back with as much masculinity as I can muster, which even in the moonlight must resemble something of an arthritic chicken. I spit and sniff and saw at my nose. "Okay, you roit? You ready?" Jasper doesn't respond. He just turns and sets off. I follow. After climbing my back fence, we head downhill into Corrigan. Houses huddle and cluster closer together, and then stop abruptly as we reach the middle of town. This late, the architecture is desolate and leached of color. It feels like we're traipsing through a postcard. Toward the eastern fringe, past the railway station, the houses bloom again and we pass quietly under streetlights which light up lawns and gardens. I have no idea where we're going. The further we move, the keener my apprehension grows. Still, there is something emboldening about being awake when the rest of the world is sleeping. Like I know something they don't. We walk for an age, but I don't ask questions. Some way out of town, past the bridge and the broad part of the Corrigan River and into the farm district, Jasper pauses to feed a cigarette into his mouth. Wordlessly, he shakes the battered pack my way. I've never smoked before. I've certainly never been offered one. I feel a surge of panic. Wanting both to decline and impress, for some reason I decide to press my palms to my stomach and puff my cheeks when I wag my head at his offer, as if to suggest that I've smoked so many already this evening that I'm simply too full to take another. Jasper Jones raises an eyebrow and shrugs. He turns, rests his hip on a gatepost. As Jasper sucks at his smoke, I look past him and recognize where we are. I step back. Here, ghostly in the moonlight, slumps the weatherworn cottage of Mad Jack Lionel. I quickly look back at Jasper. I hope this isn't our destination. Mad Jack is a character of much speculation and intrigue for the kids of Corrigan. No child has actually laid eyes on him. There are full-chested claimants of sightings and encounters, but they're quickly exposed as liars. But the tall stories and rumors all weave wispily around one single irrefutable fact: that Jack Lionel killed a young woman some years ago and he's never been seen outside his house since. Nobody among us knows the real circumstances of the event, but fresh theories are offered regularly. Of course, the extent and nature of his crimes have grown worse over time, which only adds more hay to the stack and buries the pin ever deeper. But as the myth grows in girth, so too does our fear of the mad killer hidden in his home. From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Australian author Silvey wears his influences (notably To Kill a Mockingbird) a little too obviously on his sleeve in a novel about crime, race, and growing up in a 1960s Australian mining town. Charlie, 13, is woken up on a hot summer night by teenage outcast Jasper, who wants to show him something secret. That secret turns out to be the dead body of Laura Wishart, Jasper's occasional paramour and the older sister of Charlie's own crush, Eliza. The boys, assuming that Jasper will be blamed, hide the body, and Laura's disappearance combines with the boys' guilt and lies to create an ongoing spiral of stress. The town of Corrigan is rife with racism, which is directed mainly at the half-aboriginal Jasper and Charlie's Vietnamese best friend, Jeffrey. The banter between Jeffrey and Charlie drives the novel's lighter scenes, but can distract, feeling more like Tarantinoesque pop culture asides than anything else. Still, when Silvey, making his U.S. debut, focuses on the town's ugly underbelly, as well as the troubles in Charlie's family, the novel is gripping enough to overcome its weaknesses. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-A rap on the window awakens 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin. He's startled to find Jasper Jones, the bad boy of his small Australian town, frantic and in need of his help. Charlie follows Jasper into the night and is led to the battered body of Laura Wishart, hanging from the noose of a eucalyptus tree. Jasper is desperate to cut Laura down as the rope around her neck belongs to him. Convinced of Jasper's innocence, Charlie helps submerge Laura's body in a river and the boys vow to find Laura's killer. Set in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, Craig Silvey's novel (Knopf, 2011) perfectly captures the time period. Charlie's small town reacts with fear at Laura's disappearance and the bigotry simmering just below the surface of the town erupts into violence. Matt Cowlrick gives each character a unique voice and his pacing is impeccable. Strong language and mature content make this appropriate for older teens.-Tricia Melgaard, formerly Broken Arrow Public Schools, Tulsa, OK (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

To 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin, Jasper Jones is nothing but an outcast, a stranger. Then, in the middle of the night, Jasper turns up at Charlie's bedroom window and leads him to the hanging body of a dead girl, the daughter of the shire president in their small Australian town. Unless Charlie helps him, Jasper will be blamed for the murder. What follows is equal parts mystery, coming-of-age story, and sophisticated literary novel. Right up to the hard, satisfying ending, the first-person, immediate, present-tense account offers an authentically adolescent perspective of the racist, patriotic turmoil of the 1970s as it affected small-town life. Silvey balances the predominant gravity with moments of lightness in the awkward fumbling of first love and the profane, hilarious banter that defines Charlie's relationship with his new best friend. Charlie is an avid reader, and in his worldview, shaped by Atticus Finch and Puddn'Head Wilson, and his account of events, young readers will experience how powerful stories help to clarify life.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist

Horn Book Review

In this Australian import, Jasper Jones -- town outcast, juvenile delinquent, and general scapegoat -- shows up at thirteen-year-old Charlie's window one night and takes him to a grove along the riverbank, the scene of the apparent murder of the daughter of the shire president. Convinced of Jasper's innocence, Charlie helps him hide the body until the two boys can find the murderer and bring him to justice. It's a heavy burden for Charlie to bear as he courts the sister of the dead girl, chafes at the racism his Vietnamese best friend encounters, and witnesses the deterioration of his parents' marriage. As secrets come rattling out of the closet, the characters are forced to make difficult choices in the satisfying resolution to this gothic-flavored coming-of-age tale. The mood and atmosphere of the 1960s small-town Australian setting is perfectly realized -- suspenseful, menacing, and claustrophobic -- with issues of race and class boiling just below the surface. Smart, sensible, and likable, Charlie is drawn with a deft hand, and his first-person narration astutely captures not only a sociopolitical cross-section of his community but his tumultuous family situation and internal life as well. jonathan hunt (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

(Fiction. 12 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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