Twelve-and-a-half-year-old Henry Hoey Hobson is drowning in the
dangerous waters of Year Seven. He arrives at his sixth school in as
many years, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, to discover that he is the
only boy in the grade. The tiny school in inner-city Brisbane has lost
most of its older boys to bigger Catholic colleges, leaving only a trio
of male misfits a year below him, and in his year, an intimidating
Fatherless, friendless and non-Catholic, Henry earns a reputation as a vampire on his first day, when ill-fitting braces make his mouth bleed. His mum, Lydia, is no help - she's running around town, in bright red platform heels and a skirt that's too short and too tight, chasing a pot of gold at the end of a real estate rainbow. Due to a recent growth spurt, Henry towers over his tiny, doll-like mum and swings between feeling protective and angry that she has abandoned him to his fate as a Perpetual Sucker.
To make matters worse, a pack of weirdos moves in next door. Manny, Vee, Caleb and Anders are creatures of the night. With their pale skin, black clothing and eerie coffin, they freak out the local kids. When they befriend Henry, they drive a stake through the heart of any chance he might have had of fitting in.
Henry's only chance to redeem himself is the school swimming carnival. But first he must deal with the withdrawn and tortured Anders' attempts to overcome his own dark past and earn a place in the light, at Henry's side.
Finally, Henry and his motley cheer squad must choose how they want to live their lives. Is living life at the margins enough for any of them?
About The Author
CHRISTINE BONGERS was born and bred in Biloela, Central Queensland. She left to attend university and has worked as a broadcast journalist in Brisbane and London, written two environmental television documentaries and run her own media consultancy. Her work was short-listed for the 2006 Varuna Manuscript Development Awards. She completed a Master of Arts in youth writing in 2008. Her first novel, DUST, was published by Woolshed Press to critical acclaim. Christine shares her life in Brisbane with husband Andrew, children, Connor, Brydie, Clancy and Jake, their ageing cat Al, a platoon of water dragons, a parliament of tawny frogmouths and an embarrassment of geckos that fall at odd moments onto her kitchen bench.
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old
For Grades: 4 - 6
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st July 2010
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.25