Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-Thirteen-year-old Sadie has been uprooted from friends in Melbourne and moved to the bleak country town of Boort. She is resentful of her mother's new job and renewed interest in an old boyfriend and the unwelcoming students at her new school. Her lonely explorations of the countryside lead her to a dried-up lake surrounded by nine strange boulders and a small graveyard guarded by a shrieking crow. It speaks to her of a long-ago crime that only she can help make right. With the crow's help, Sadie time travels several times to the 1930s when her great-grandfather was alive, taking on the role of his daughter. In the past, she witnesses an ugly confession and participates in the cover-up of a violent crime. In the present, she goes to Walter, a sullen Aboriginal boy and the nephew of her mum's romantic interest, for help. From Walter's wise Auntie Lily, she learns what she needs to do to make things right. By confronting her contemporary community, Sadie is able to atone for her grandfather's crime and secure the promise of a future free from earlier prejudices and violence. In this exciting mystery, Constable empathetically conveys the loneliness of the "new kid on the block" as well as that of the suspicious and tentative Aboriginal teen. Examples of racism in the past and in the contemporary world will be sadly familiar. American readers will enjoy the colorful Australian teen slang and gain an appreciation of Aboriginal culture.-Jackie Gropman, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library System, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Thirteen-year-old Sadie Hazzard is not happy about moving from Melbourne to tiny rural Boort, where her mum grew up, and adjusting isn't easy. But soon Sadie discovers Boort holds mysteries, including a cryptic talking crow and an intriguing circle of etched stones in a dry lake bed. Shortly after meeting cute school athlete Lachie, the son of a prominent family, and new-to-town Walter, who is Aboriginal, Sadie is mysteriously transported back in time to 1933 and discovers a dark chapter in Boort's past involving each of their ancestors. As lore, history, and contemporary life come together, Sadie is given the chance to help make things right in the past and present in ways affecting them all. With vivid, richly descriptive prose and an engaging, intimately drawn protagonist, Constable (Cicada Summer, 2011) interweaves mystery, fantasy, mythology, and realism into a compelling novel. She thought-provokingly addresses issues of personal and cultural history; the impact of prejudice and its consequences; and, ultimately, finding reconciliation, respect, and common ground.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
After moving to the country, an Australian teen travels back in time to right old wrongs involving her family and a threatened aboriginal site. When her single mum, Ellie, sells their house in Melbourne and uproots them to the isolated lakeside town of Boort, 13-year-old Sadie's angry and lonely. Ellie's at home in Boort where she spent childhood summers and soon reconnects with David, a former boyfriend who's aboriginal. As Ellie and David start going around together, there's obvious racial bias among the locals. Meanwhile, Sadie discovers a circle of standing stones covered with ancient aboriginal carvings in a dried-up lake bed, triggering the appearance of a talking crow who warns Sadie, "This is Crow's place." Haunted by Crow's message, Sadie repeatedly slips back in time to 1933 to uncover the truth about the murder of an aboriginal man who tried to stop the flooding of his sacred land. When the current white owner of the land wants to misuse it as his ancestor did, Sadie must prevent history from repeating itself. This neatly structured story relies on aboriginal folklore, enduring racial biases, betrayed friendships and a perceptive heroine who knows the difference between right and wrong. An original Aussie time-travel tale. (Fantasy. 10-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.