Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beatie Bow

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A thrilling adventure story for children and young adults by Park Ruth, Playing Beatie Bow follows Abigail as she suddenly finds herself in the Sydney of a hundred years ago as the result of a scary game.
ISBN: 9780140314601


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May 06, 2016

10/12 - I loved this book as a 10-year-old and one small detail has stuck with me over the nearly 20 years since I last read it, and that was the significance of the crocheted yoke. I couldn't remember any other part of the story except that the yoke sent Abigail back in time. Often when I re-read a book I loved as a child and haven't read since they don't quite live up to my memories, but Playing Beatie Bow definitely did. I empathised with Abigail's feelings over the possibility of her separated parents getting back together after 4 years and understood her anger. Abigail's adolescent romance with Judah was believable and I really liked the way Park wrappped the end of the story up by making her next-door neighbours descendants of the Bows in order to tell us all what finally happened to the different members of the family. I think the book, which was first published in 1980, has aged really well. Park didn't use too many outdated expressions (one instance of the use of 'groovy' springs to mind, but that's all) and because most of the book is spent in 1873 it doesn't matter how much Sydney has changed in the last 30 years, the Sydney of 1980 is not described very much anyway. The only thing that Abigail would do differently today is that in order to find out about the Bows she wouldn't go to the library and turn the pages of physical copies of the newspaper looking for obituaries or news reports for the family, she would of course use the internet and thank goodness she didn't have to do it all manually.

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