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Following on from THE WISH PONY, Catherine Bateson's new novel returns to the world of magic realism to chart the stormy waters of a child's grief.

When grief strikes, you need an ally. For Mimi, that ally is Ableth, the wildly disobedient blue slave. He comes, he goes, he says and does whatever he likes, but he's always there when Mimi needs him most, offering his own brand of crooked wisdom.

Ableth says, 'You need to learn to look under the surface of things. Look at water. It's just a great expanse of blue with little wavelets and riffs of foam. But underneath the surface are whole worlds of wonder. There are treasures and wrecks and bones . . .'

But it's hard to look beneath the surface when your Mum is shipwrecked by despair, and you're the only one left to keep things afloat. There's a bric-a-brac shop to run, your first Christmas without a dad, and quite possibly a fugitive taking refuge in your back shed.

This warm, captivating story celebrates the odd families we make, as well as those we are born into.

Reviews

A lovely story about ordinary families, schoolyard friendships, and the possibility of kindly powers alive in our streets. Ages 9 to 12-ish.

Readings

No-one does the disaffected girl like Bateson . . . This book will be devoured by Bateson's many fans.

Magpies

I was really touched by this story . . . Bateson handles the issue of the death of a parent adeptly, enclosing it within a beautifully written story. This book is ideally suited for girls aged eight to eleven.

Bookseller + Publisher

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781864719949

    September 1, 2010

    Woolshed Press

    144 pages

    RRP $16.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742741109

    September 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    224 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Catherine Bateson

The Wish Pony
Magenta McPhee
Being Bee
His Name in Fire
Millie & The Night Heron
The Air Dancer of Glass
Rain May & Captain Daniel
Painted Love Letters
The Year It All Happened
A Dangerous Girl

Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK12)
Undercover Princess
Alice-Miranda At School 1
Midnight Jewel
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Trash
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Witches
A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Library Of Souls
Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter
Pippa's Island 2: Cub Reporters
Now
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
365 Days of Wonder
Our Australian Girl: The Lina Stories
You Choose AFL: Footy Fever