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On My Bookshelf: The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting

Walker Books 2020

The Book of Chance is a story about identity, truth and integrity, and about finding out that the world isn’t all black and white.

The story is narrated by Chance, who is in Year 7 at High School, secure with a loving mother, good friends, and her dog… or so she thought. She starts her story at the end, then takes us back and works forward, unexpectedly faced with a new truth that changes her entire world and leaves her questioning what truth is, and with a difficult choice that rips her in two.

As well as a compelling story-line, this book is carefully researched, with references to police procedures, child adoption policies, refugee support, and social media expectations, bringing a sense of authenticity to the work. Set in Wollongong and surrounds, Sue Whiting’s familiarity with the area creates a feeling of immediacy and credibility to the book, a 'being there' experience that draws the reader in.

Saying any more would be inserting spoilers, but suffice to say that, once started, this was a book I could not put down, and devoured over the course of an afternoon. The characters feel so real and so intense that the reader is there with them in the story, feeling the pain and confusion, and willing them on.

An exciting and suspense filled-read, this is a book that will reverberate with young teens and open their eyes to a world of shades of grey, where truth can be faked and lies seem real.

Highly recommended!


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