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Study Guide : Jasper Jones: Book Reviews

A guide to help in the study of the novel 'Jasper Jones' by Craig Silvey

Jasper Jones : Book Reviews

Jasper Jones (Good Reads)
10 July 2017
Jasper Jones is set in a time in which racism, as well as social exclusion, are high.
Jasper Jones is a story with complex strands and aspects, each one of which can fill a novel, all of which seem to overwhelm the book, but sometimes they are torn to the brink of inspiration but do not come to one Solution.
However, I wonder whether I can view this book as a pure youth book. Because background knowledge is complex.
The writing style is light and easy. 
The dialogue partly funny, but also bitter.


Jasper Jones: By Craig Silvey

Reviewed by Claire Williams (Flourish Magazine)

Jasper Jones is set in the 1960s, in fictional Corrigan, a small-minded country town.  The narrator is Charlie Bucktin, a bookish teenager who is in a sticky situation.  He has become involved in the disposal of a murdered young woman, after Jasper Jones – a misunderstood Indigenous teen – enlisted his help.  Corrigan is jolted by the disappearance of Laura Wishart, with a climate of fear and mistrust as thick as the summer heat Charlie constantly complains about.

Silvey’s first-person narration is well suited to the coming-of-age themes.  It’s a combination of the childish honesty of Scout Finch and the teen angst of Holden Caulfield that gives the novel such a powerful voice.  Silvey writes with a kind of bravado that’ll have you gripped.  There are sections so tightly plotted you’ll be turning the pages with feverish anticipation, constantly asking: Who killed Laura Wishart?

Beyond the exciting plot details, Jasper Jones is a novel about fear.  The novel’s three central characters, Jasper, Charlie, and his best-friend Jeffrey Lu, a Vietnamese immigrant, are all feared for their difference.  It’s Charlie’s brains and books in a town of miners and tradespeople, Jasper’s Aboriginality and Jeffrey’s Asian heritage that make Corrigan nervous.  The racism that Jasper and Jeffrey experience is enough to make your chest hurt and your eyes sting.   

Jasper Jones is worthy of a place on your bookshelf because of its broad appeal.  Parents and their teenagers will delight in the nervous trials of Charlie’s romantic escapades, feel outraged by Charlie’s tough, tempestuous mother, and be touched by the gorgeous friendship between Charlie and Jeffrey.


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