Somewhere Around the Corner
Written By: Jackie French
The year 1994 was a tough one for a young Australian girl named Barbara. She gets caught in a demonstration, and through her terror of being trampled or caught by police, somehow finds herself “going around a corner” in her mind. She finds she has traveled back in time to the 1930’s during the Great Depression. Despite all the hardships, she finds what she’s truly looking for.
Marie’s Review (Mom):
This was a good, fast moving story. Even I really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next. I had never heard of Jackie French but will be looking for more of her books – but probably only as read alouds!
My biggest (and only) problem with the book is the swearing. It’s a children’s book, so really?! I’m not exactly familiar with Australian lingo, but some of the profanity was obvious from the context and I skipped over those. Eventually though, as I blindly read others word for word, a niggle of doubt crept in my mind. So feeling like a school-aged truant, I snuck off alone and googled “Australian swear words.” Oops… after that I skipped a whole lot more words.
I enjoyed the book not only for the story but the great discussion points. The phrase “somewhere around the corner” is repeated throughout and symbolizes a person’s dreams for the future – and that the character had to walk around the corner themselves and go get their dreams. They couldn’t just stand still and wait for the dreams to happen. I had the girls listen for the phrase as each character pondered it.
Grace’s Review (4th Grade): I liked it, but I can’t really think of a particular reason. It was interesting. There weren’t any boring parts. I would want to read it again someday.
Lainey’s review (3rd grade): I loved it, especially the ending. I learned a little about the Great Depression. Australia has some gold that people were trying to dig up during the Great Depression to use as money.
Christian Friendly: Yes, except for the swear words. There’s no magic, etc.
Sensitive Readers: Caution –
Again, the swearing is a problem. Barbara nearly drowns but it’s not graphic our gruesome. Some families may have a problem with time travel or the idea behind Barbara’s particular way of “going around a corner” in her mind. It worked for us though and I’m glad we read it.