Magpie remedy


 

0648146618-01-_sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_Steve Heron, Maximus, Serenity Press 2018

191 pages, $21 online

Reviewed by Ted Witham

 

Eleven-year-old Mitch feels a little out of place when his Fly In – Fly Out (FIFO) dad’s behaviour becomes erratic. Mitch makes friends with an ailing magpie, whom he names Maximus, and they heal each other.

This inventive novel deals with themes of self-esteem, family love and first love with tenderness and skill. It draws on Steve Heron’s long experience as a worker with children. Steve, the founder of the BUZ programs (Build-Up Zone) for primary-aged children, has written before, but this is his first full-length novel for children.

I enjoyed it. Be-friending a magpie is obviously drawn from experience. The book contains a brilliant description of an inter-school football match.

Maximus means ‘the Greatest’ in Latin, and Steve shows the journey to greater self-esteem in a way that will appeal to middle- and upper-primary readers.

I am a friend of Steve’s and a former colleague, and I am proud to commend this engaging story.

Author: Ted Witham

Husband and father, Grandfather.Franciscan, writer and Anglican priest.

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