After almost 9 years in Australia I have become familiar with many typical Australian sayings and habits, but I still remember very clearly how odd it all felt when I just arrived on Aussie shores. While I did speak English quite well some people would still pick up a hint of an accent, generally they’d guess I was from South Africa or some Scandinavian country. As Dutch is quite similar to Afrikaans I appreciated the connection and it is also why Nick Earls‘ new children’s book New Boy really spoke to me:
New Boy (RRP $14.99) by Nick Earls tells the story of South African boy Herschelle who moves to Australia with his family. He has to settle in at a new school, learn the Aussie slang, try new foods and meet new mates, it’s all much harder than he thought it would be. It is not always easy and Herschelle even has to deal with racism and bullying but slowly the Van Der Merwe family settles in to Australian life.
As a foreigner living in Australia I recognise some of the struggles and confusions and can only imagine how hard a move like this would be for a child. This is a fantastic read for those new to Australia but also for Aussie kids so they can get some insight into how they can make the ‘new kid’ feel at home. My favourite part was when Herschelle’s mum was to asked to ‘bring a plate’ to school and brought an empty plate, that could easily have happened to me!
To find out more about New Boy, published by Penguin Books Australia, and to order online visit www.penguin.com.au.