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Stranded in Boringsville Hardcover – October 1, 2005
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–When 12-year-old Rains father leaves the family, her mother decides to simplify their lives and move to Rains grandmothers house in the country. Daniel, an intelligent boy who is obsessed with Star Trek and enjoys playing chess, lives next door. At school, the two are called the Double Drips. Rain wishes she could play basketball, but feels obligated to hang out with Daniel, who hates sports. She learns that he has to have surgery to correct a heart problem. Her weekends with her father and his girlfriend get better once the adults acknowledge her feelings and Rain and Daniel discover that Julia is a Trekkie. Readers will relate to Rains adjustment to her parents separation and a new home, school, and friends. The Australian setting features a platypus sighting and a visiting cousin who is so American. This enjoyable and quirky story is told from Rains perspective and includes poems composed from a refrigerator poetry kit and entries from Daniels Captains Log.–Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 5-8. Twelve year-old Rain's parents have separated. Her father has moved in with his trendy, younger girlfriend, and her mother has turned in her business suits for yoga and a simpler life in "Boringsville," tiny Clarkson, Central Victoria. Now even Rain's name, a perfectly good one in cosmopolitan Melbourne, seems weird. Her neighbor Daniel is almost 12, "phenomenally bright," an ardent Star Trek fan, and, as Rain learns, cruelly bullied at school. In alternating chapters, Australian author Bateson deftly allows Rain and Daniel to chronicle their budding friendship and the problems each has fitting in at home and at school: Rain's anger toward her father; her fierce loyalty to Daniel even as she wishes he would try harder to make friends; and Daniel's fear that he might lose Rain's friendship while he's hospitalized for heart surgery. Readers will ache for the kids, whose conflicted feelings seem all too real. So what if the author resolves their problems a little too neatly; readers will still savor the satisfying ending. Chris Sherman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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One reason why I like this book is because of the mini fridge poems in which Rain and Maggie(Rain's mother) communicate with each other when they feel if speaking doesn't fit. Many of the times it's when they feel sad or really happy, it's like a way to put out their emotions.
Another reason why I favor this book is because of Rain personality. She is a very good friend to Daniel. For instance, when the "popular" mean kids took Daniel's hat and refuse to give it back, Daniel just didn't do anything about it. Well, Rain did, because she couldn't just ignore the fact that her friend is being picked on, so she marched over to their table and demand them to give the hat back. Snobbish people never really listen to what they're told, so they didn't gave it back. Rain got very mad and started a fight, they all got in trouble. But Rain never regret standing up for Daniel.
Lastly, I enjoy reading about how Rain gets around the seperated parents issue. Like when she decided she'll hate her father and his girlfriend forever, her mother talked her through it. Rain got over the whole thing very easily, as it seemed. In other stories it doesn't appear to be that simple.
Overall, this is a touching book to read, though some parts may make readers cry or feel sad. But in the end, there's a happy ending.
This is a lot of fun. The kids in Bateson's book identify strongly with Trek ideals and characters, mainly of TNG and "Voyager". They support each other through some serious issues, in ways that would make Gene Roddenberry proud. They go shopping for Star Trek lapel pins at (the real) Minotaur Bookshop, can quote Kirk and Spock as readily as Deanna Troi - and are enthralled when a friend gives them a disk of the downloaded "Enterprise" premiere, long before it was to be commercially available in Australia!
There are a few glitches in the novel: references to Lieutenant Tom Parish (Paris), Counsellor Troy (Troi) and Volcan (Vulcan) three-dimensional chess, but overall the story rings true. In the 80s I knew several primary aged kids who got thoroughly immersed in the Star Trek phenomenon. It's rarer to find them today because the newer ST series screen on free-to-air TV sooooo late at night, and to such an erratic schedule of delays and pre-emptions for sporting events and infomercials.
Some fun quotes from the book:
"I haven't much bargaining power, as the Ferengi would put it..."
After watching the teaser of "Enterprise": "Then there was this dicky music and some credits started to come up." "... The music is so stupid... It completely sucks."
"And she thinks Scott Bakula is a total stud puppy."
From the back cover blurb: "Together these unlikely friends adventure where no one has gone before.
Hunt for it! It's a great little read. As a Star Trek fan and a teacher of elementary-aged students, its bizarre that I missed it when the book first came out. It was even shortlisted in the Children's Book Council of Australia's "Book of the Year" Awards of 2003.