Collins Hill High School Media Center Blog

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

jellicoe-roadFrom the prologue:

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

I counted.

It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of miles away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.

With a car crash, an abandoned kid, and the Australian countryside with Jellicoe Road running through the middle, Melina Marchetta’s award-winning novel is as confusing as it is intriguing. If you like to be challenged to think a little when you read and can keep up with two story lines, I suggest you pick this one up.

Taylor Markham is 11 when her mother abandons her at a 7-11. Hannah, a local that lives near the Jellicoe School, finds her and takes her under her wing, keeping careful distance. Taylor, now 17, is struggling to deal with her past and wants desperately to put the pieces together, but it’s difficult at best. Hannah is uncooperative, Taylor is reluctantly made leader of her dorm, and then Hannah disappears. With needy kids to manage, no adults to turn to, and the battle with the Townies and the Cadets brewing, Taylor doesn’t have much time to figure things out. Additionally, a mysterious guy from Taylor’s past shows up again, making everything worse – or better.

Two storylines run through this novel – one is Taylor’s story, and the other is a manuscript Hannah is writing (it’s in italics – part of it is quoted above). As Taylor struggles with history, heartbreak, and disappointment, she must pry into her past to face her future.

~Mrs. Frilot

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September 24, 2009 - Posted by | Book recommendation | ,

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