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Under a Pole Star – Stef Penney


imgres.jpgThis is a complex book, set in the time of exploration of the North Pole at the end of 19th century.

It deals with multiple issues – exploitation of the Inuit (first people); the role of women; obsession and the corrupting desire of ambition.

It is a fascinating portrayal of a specific time and place, but one that would be suited to senior readers due to some content.

Girl Detached – Manuela Salvi


This book caused some controversy in it’s home country on publication  and featured in Banngirl-detacheded Book week this year.

It follows the unsuspecting  ‘grooming’ of Aleksandra, by an older and confident young man.

The novel deals with the a pretty dark and seedy side of life, but one that is all too real. We don’t often hear a lot about it here in NZ, but not in Europe where the novel is set.

Aleks is naiive, awkward and totally unworldly – a prime target for Megan, her ‘new friend’ who finds girls for the ‘boyfriends’ to exploit and control. Victim blaming plays a large role too.

Definitely for a mature teen reader – and maybe parents out there too.