The Bell family is in danger of losing their
honourable name. Can Darius step up to the challenge and uphold it? A
wise and wonderful novel by CBCA Honour Book Award-winner Odo Hirsch.
The Bell family's ancestors were showered with honours, gifts and grants of land. In exchange, they have bestowed a Gift, once every 25 years, on the town. The Gifts have ranged from a statue to a bell tower with stained-glass windows, but now it's Darius's father's turn - and there is no money for an impressive gift. It looks as though a wheelbarrow full of vegetables is the best they can do. Darius is determined to preserve the family honour, and when an earthquake reveals a glorious cave, with the most beautiful minerals lining the walls, he thinks he's found the answer...
A wonderfully satisfying novel - fun to read, thought-provoking and wise.
About The Author
Odo Hirsch was born in Australia where he studied medicine and worked as a doctor. He is now based in London. His books for children are favourites with young and old and have been translated into several languages.
This was a title I waited for eagerly - I've loved Odo Hirsch's books since I was young, and this latest offering was certainly no exception. Years and years ago the Bell family were awarded titles, gifts, honours and plots of land. In exchange for this, every twenty-five years they must give their village a gift. Darius and his parents have lived without taking rent, or paying people for their work, and instead have lived using a bartering system. This means that while they have food and clothes, they have no money for a grand gift like those in years past. In comparison with stained glass windows, and marble statues, Darius' father's humble offering is a wheelbarrow full of vegetables.
Darius is determined to preserve the family honour, and when he discovers a cave whose walls are lined with glittering minerals he thinks he has found the answer to his family's troubles. When you read stories like this one, you can tell why Odo Hirsch is an Children's Book Council Award-winning author. This fable is thought-provoking, and imparts a bit of wisdom onto all who read it. Wonderful for all those aged 8 and up.
A warm and offbeat book that offers readers something a bit different. Carousel A warm and gentle story [which] appeals to both girls and boys. School Librarian
For Ages: 6 - 12 years old
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: March 2009
Dimensions (cm): 19.1 x 13.1 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.225