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Playing Beatie Bow (1980)

by Ruth Park

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5771331,718 (3.97)42
A lonely Australian girl from a divided family is transported back to the 1880's and an immigrant family from the Orkney Islands.

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SO GOOD!! ( )
  angelgay | Jul 1, 2020 |
I loved this book almost as much as the previous Ruth Park I read (Pink Flannel). Playing Beatie Bow works on several levels. First, it offers great entertainment just for the plot: Abigail, 14, a contemporary Sydney resident, travels in time back to 1873. There she becomes entwined in the life of a family from the Orkney Islands. Second, it is a coming-of-age novel that adults can enjoy as much as the target juvenile/YA audience. Abigail grows both physically and emotionally over the course of the story. Third, Abigail's thoughtful reflections on the differences in past and contemporary Sydney, both socially and physically, are fascinating. ( )
  NinieB | Dec 5, 2019 |
A lonely Australian girl from a divided family is transported back to the 1880's and an immigrant family from the Orkney Islands.
  unsoluble | Feb 1, 2018 |
Another book I have been meaning to read for ages but only just got around to, this story is considered an Australian children's classic.
14 year old Abigail is angry about her father's affair 4 years ago and now angry at her mother for considering getting back together with him. Set in 1980's Sydney Abigail is draw back in time (by a combination of circumstances some of which are only revealed at the end of the book) to the far harsher Sydney of the 1870's. Taken in by the Bow family, all of whom are convinced that Abigail shouldn't be allowed back until she has done the thing (Granny is convinced she has come for a reason) she needs to do. In the time she is there Abigail starts to reassess her view of her parents and the decisions they have made. And also appreciate the time she lives in.
A great read to learn about history but also good for any kid who is struggling with divorced parents and help to see things in a different light.
Recommended for 12 .
( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
Ruth Park is one of those authors I'm embarrassed not to have read before. I've known of her for years, since primary school when her novels were very popular, but somehow she didn't make it onto my bookshelves until recently with this Penguin Australia Popular Penguins edition.

What a great story! Although YA-aimed, I found this book eminently readable as a adult. Almost girls-own-adventure-ish, the "boy who doesn't really fit in is actually somebody very special" is in this case a feisty and intelligent 14-year-old girl living in 1980s Sydney who is drawn into a coming-of-age time-travel adventure.

I read compulsively and the 1/2 point off perfection is only because I found some of the plot points a little predictable. Perhaps if I'd read this 30 years or so ago things would have seemed less obvious.

Marvellous stuff, and I'll be seeking out more of her writing in the near future. ( )
  Vivl | Jul 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Parkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the first place, Abigail Kirk was not Abigail at all.
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A lonely Australian girl from a divided family is transported back to the 1880's and an immigrant family from the Orkney Islands.

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Disturbed that her mother could welcome back her unfaithful father, Abigail Kirk undergoes a mysterious voyage to nineteenth-century Australia, where her experiences help her to understand the power of love and to accept her father.
Children's Book Council of Australia Awards - Book of the Year : Older readers ; winner 1981.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140314601, 0143204874, 0670076864


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