(Marchetta p82) By hard work and determination she is able to not just hold her place at school but to be one of the best students.
Another challenge is coming to terms with her family, especially her grandmother.
This sort of thinking was not uncommon because many young adult books of the time dealing with ‘our lives’ never quite got the voice right.
They sounded like adults ‘trying hard’ to focus on ‘teenage themes.’ But in , we found a heroine who lived in the suburbs with her single mother and her meddling grandmother, who went to school, obsessed about boys and worked at Mc Donalds.
The two most influential women in my life, whose relati ...
, I was around the same age as Josephine Alibrandi.
You were accepted if you realised your ‘woggy’ or ‘chinky’ ways, and could make fun of your ‘ethnicity.’ Yet what this book tells us is that twenty years ago, we weren’t ready to make fun of such matters because people were still laughing at us, and not with us.
So making fun of ourselves was often tinged with some degree of self-loathing.
Like Asians, Mediterraneans appeared on commercial television only if they made fun of themselves.
So we had Con the Fruiterer, Effie, and later, the multicultural cast of Fat Pizza (which included the first mail-order bride boat person); and we called this our self-depreciating, larrikin sense of humour.