Cath Crowley (author)
PanMacmillan, Australia: 2010
ISBN: 9780330425780 14+
Genre: realistic fiction
Issues: differences, gifted, identity, relationships
Lucy has just finished Yr12 and she and her two best friends are celebrating by spending all night wandering the city streets. What Lucy wants most of all is to meet Shadow and Poet, two graffiti artists who've been brightening the dingy walls of ramshackle train sheds and the bleak grey of the concrete jungle.
Mostly Lucy wants to meet Shadow. Shadow, who ‘paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers.' A guy who obviously feels about art the way she does. A guy she could definitely fall for.
Lucy's friends think her fascination with Shadow is like the rest of her passions - a fantasy. In the real world is Ed, whose nose she broke on their first date. Definitely not someone she wants to spend more time with, then. But Ed says he knows the guy she's looking for and takes her on a tour of Shadow's greatest pieces - paintings that cry out the artist's pain and longing to escape the limitations of his world; paintings about heartbreak and grief; paintings about who he'd like to be. The forgiving cloak of darkness shifts the world under Lucy's feet and she begins to see things differently - but can she see what's right under her nose, even if it doesn't fit her idea of how things should be?
Very much about expectations and preconceptions versus reality, Graffiti Moon is a remarkable novel from a very talented writer. Taking place over only twelve hours, Graffiti Moon demonstrates that often the most significant changes to self take very little time - it just takes years afterwards to understand and act upon those internal shifts. It is possible that the more staid gatekeepers (librarians, teachers, parents) will object to a book that apparently endorses graffiti art (as opposed to tagging) but they should bear in mind that this is a novel about those who slip between the cracks - those who don't fit the traditional mould, those for whom the educational system doesn't work. It's about how our society can lose some of its most gifted members by judging too harshly the non-conformists. And it's about taking risks when often the greatest risk is to allow your true self to be seen in the daylight.
In only her fifth published novel, Cath Crowley has demonstrated that she is definitely a writer to watch. Written from three perspectives - Lucy, Ed & Poet - Graffiti Moon is so beautifully crafted that the shift between points of view is virtually seamless. Poet's free verse contributions are rather like the tense pauses in great music - a place for readers to hold their breath and wait, skin tingling with anticipation, for the change in pace, pitch and rhythm. Crowley's ability to project her characters' thoughts and emotions into the reader's mind and heart is remarkable, as it's done with delicate nuances - the kind of writing more often found in good literature for adult readers. It will be interesting to see how the teenage readership reacts to this unusual novel but hopefully teachers will recognise it as a great book for class novel study.
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- Gifted with Learning Disabilities or Differences
- Seemed gifted when younger, but has lost interest lately…
- October 2012 Newsletter
- New Zealand pulls out of hosting World Gifted Conference in 2013
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- 2012 Financial Statement
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