‘Our depot which art in heaven,’ the trams said. Praying they’d be on time tomorrow. Praying they wouldn’t be scrapped.
Barry Dickins and Jenny Lee have written an endearing tale about one boy’s adventures through the ‘Hump of West Preston’.
As a child brought up in the north and west of Melbourne, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review a novel set in such wistful and distinguishing territory.
When I was younger, my brother, my grandmother and I would venture to the Heidelberg Mall on Bell Street. Just like Barry, once we had finished the business end of our excursion, my grandmother would let us choose a small token to take home. Now, I still reside in the North, and frequently catch the 112West Prestontram, despite its shortcomings.
Dickins and Lee are wonderful storytellers. The detailed descriptions in Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street not only capture the essence of the North, but also illustrate the pleasures of growing up in suburbia, bounded by family, companionship and community. The descriptive language, from the hot cooked breakfasts of poached eggs, toNan’s fawn scuffs and Kool Mints, paints a vivid and honest picture of the environment Barry occupies.
A charming tale of good conquering evil and the kinship of community rising to conquer corporate greed and corruption, Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street is a comfort and an absolute joy. This fanciful story will not only strike a chord with the young adult audience, but also with readers, such as myself, who are keen to reminisce about their own experiences in this characteristic part of Melbourne.
Review by Ilona Nicola. Like Ilona’s writing? Check out her blog at ilonanicola.wordpress.com
- Introducing Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street by Barry Dickins and Jenny Lee (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Review: Barry and the Fairies | Kirsty Kearney (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Review: Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street | Sonia Nair (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Review: Barry and the Fairies | Jo Canham (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)