The Middle of Nowhere- Book review

The Middle of Nowhere, published in October 2013, is a fascinating book written by the fabulous author, Geraldine McCaughrean who has written many novels and short story collections, for all ages, including the captivating sequel to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Peter Pan in Scarlet.

The Middle of Nowhere stars young Comity Pinny. Her and her mother and father live in an isolated village in the Australian outback, as her father works the telegraph line. After her mother’s tragic death her father retreats into the confines of his job. Comity struggles with the burden of now looking after her father and dealing with her own grief. Her father is sent a new assistant telegraph officer and chaos reigns from that day forth. Comity and Fred, a local Aboriginal boy whom Comity befriends,  watch the small village fall into a downward spiral of drunkenness and racism.

McCaughreans novel is written quite childishly and yet that only serves to bring out the depth of the underlying themes. Written from the perspective of Comity, McCaughrean lays bare the horrific way in which Aboriginals were treated by early settlers very honestly, and with all the bluntness but also confusion that Comity herself has.

Comity’s name means courtesy and considerate behaviour towards others, it also means an association of nations for their mutual benefit. I think this book is about Comity realising that even she, a young girl, can bring peace between nations.



Wonder- A book review

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio is a touching book about a boy named August Pullman. August was born with a facial deformity caused by a very rare, (occurring in only 1 in 50,000 births), condition called Mandibulofacial Dysostrosis, also known as Treacher Collins Syndrome. The condition affects bone development and can cause severe facial disfigurement such as underdeveloped cheek bones, small jaw and chin, eyes that slant downwards and a cleft palate. Less obvious problems caused by the condition are restriction of the infant’s air ways as a result of the underdeveloped facial bones, eye problems lead to vision loss and the formation of the ears to hearing difficulties.

The story is told, not only from the perspective of Auggie but from that of many other characters, all of them children. Each of the narrators struggle with different problems and strive to overcome or bypass them in different ways.

August, often called Auggie, has always found it difficult to make friends due to his appearance, which many find frightening or grotesque. Until 5th grade, Auggie was home schooled by his parents, who decided a sheltered lifestyle would be better for him. So Auggie grew up surrounded by people who knew his face, obviously he was used to the stares he got every time he went out, but was protected by his parents and caring older sister, Via. Eventually, however, his parents enrol him in a local private school. Auggie’s story follows him as he finds friends, enemies, and hostility but finally acceptance in his new school.

The stories narrative switches to find Via, Auggie’s sister, as the protagionist. Via has always found herself in Auggie’s shadow, except in the eyes of her Gran who was dead before the story began. Via has school issues including being ‘dumped’ by her two best friends. But by the end of the novel Via finds herself a life in which Auggie can feature but isn’t the main focus.

Auggie’s story illustrates the harsh reality of the way we treat those who are different, or as in this story, look different to us. Throughout history we have changed generations of lives because of the way people look, even now we haven’t changed much, I think that Palacio’s story is a call to drastically change the way we act. I certainly remember Wonder when I find myself looking a little too long at someone who doesn’t fit my criteria of ‘normal’.

Through Auggie’s friends stories, Via’s and Via’s boyfriend’s, we also discover how we treat even those around people who are different to us, badly. Auggie’s friends are ostracised because they associate with him. Adults and older children may find themselves shirking responsibility because those who directly affect Auggie are all fifth graders, however in the background of the story, Via finds it hard to be ‘The girl with the freak brother’ the way we label people hurts them more than we could realise even if we never say it to their face.

One of the themes that runs throughout the book is that of Mr. Browne’s precepts. Mr. Browne is August’s English teacher. Every month he gives his class a little saying to remember. Then in the summer he asks them to send one of their own precepts to him. I think the precept I took away from this book is never to judge a person because they look different. If we were clones, the world would be a pretty boring place.

Limits- A poem

Can anyone really have a concept of time?

I don’t think time can be caught,

But slips, ever elusive, just out of reach.

We have put bounds on time,

As we do to anything we cannot comprehend.

Hemming it in.

Giving it a border.

An end, and a beginning.

Really, we have only seen,

A blade in the field of grass.



But as we are,

With death,

And life.

We believe all things have a cut-off point.

The end of the line.

How long is a piece of string?

When does pi end?

What is Infinity?

Even as we give it a name,

We confine it.


8 letters long.


4 letters.

Held in by our inability to see the big picture.

The infinite picture.

That stretches limitless,

Past all human comprehension.

And into the unknown.

Gender Equality

I have been studing Development Studies (a mix of Geography, Politics and Economics.) Today I was learning about how much gender equality impacts other important things like universal primary education, eradicating hunger, lowering the infant mortality rate, and improving maternal health.

So hey thought I’d write a little on of what I’ve gleaned from my text book!

Gender equality is not feminists holding up signs and demanding a pay rise.

Gender equality is making sure that girls younger than 18 are not forced into marriages with old men and made to have loads of kids until their bodies are too weak to do any jobs, some women then get beaten by their husbands because they can’t run the house hold.

Gender equality is ensuring that girls are allowed to go to school and are given the chances boys are.

Gender equality is stopping men stopping their wives from going to clinics and getting the healthcare they need.

Gender equality means removing the glass ceiling from women in the workplace in developing countries.

Gender equality means girls having an EQUAL share in decision making because girls brains do work different from boys and they will come up with different solutions to problems.

Gender equality is EQUAL rights, for men and women.


This is a short story thing that I found deep in our computer today. I don’t know what mood I was in when I wrote this, but it sure don’t seem very cheerful. Anyway hope you enjoy!


The girl stared out at the torn up landscape. There were people here and there, but they were hidden under huge, black umbrellas of pessimism and depression. Eyes dulled, wisps of frozen breath escaping their lips. The tale-tale sign of life. The only sign. She walked among the people. A flash of colour, of wholeness, unbroken. Her dress was all colours. Different to each person. Telling their most wished for desire. Yellow for happiness, blue for calm, orange for that crazy joy that comes with freedom, red for love, white for innocence, and green for life, a real life. They hated her for what she had. That they didn’t. And that hate kept them grey, grey as the clouds. So they shut her out, never spoke to her, and soon her colour slipped out, and she was drowned in the grey, a speck of light in the dark. Then nothing.


I heard a quote once, that our Universe, should be called a Multichorus. I think this is true, whoever you are, wherever you are, you sing your duet, or solo, or group part and in some way are part of the huge choir of the world.

Music is a language anyone can speak, it reaches over barriers of age, time and culture. It is ‘quite’ a big part of my life. As aforesaid, I play piano, flute, guitar (very badly, ‘Oh when the Saints’ being my most polished accomplishment), and sing for fun. I love listening to music. About last week I was flicking through songs and found this one called Fix You. I listened to it and was nearly in tears by the end. The writer connected with me in a way he will never know. That is what I think is beautiful about music, most everyone interprets it in a different way, some it just passes by like a river, and others hold it in the treasure trove of their hearts forever.

Music inspires feelings. Anger, love, sadness, happiness, sass 😛 Dancing has always brought people together, to be fair, it leaves some stood on the sidelines, but from ballet dancers, to dads, everyone can enjoy it and just ‘let it go’…. 😀

Music brings people together. Think back a couple of weeks to the Manchester attack, a while after this they did the One Love Manchester concert. Thousands, and I mean thousands of people listened whether through radio, (it was on nearly every station), television, or live, people all over the UK and the world, were touched. To me, it was a vivid picture that in the face of horrible things like that, we will stand together.

Basically I think we should never underestimate the incredible power of music in the human heart. From Beethoven to heavy metal, it pulls the strings of our hearts and brings us together.

Awesome Blogger Award!

Thanks Hannah for nominating me for this award! I am not quite sure what it is… But thanks! ❤ Check out Hannah’s amazing blog at


Created by Maggie

This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.


Thank the person who nominated you.

Include the reason behind the award.

Include the banner in your post.

Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.

Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.

Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

The questions:


  • Why did you start your blog?


Ummm, why did I start my blog??? I don’t really know to be honest! I think I read Hannah’s blog and thought it was a super cool idea, and here we are!


  • What is your favourite part of blogging?


My favourite part… Being able to share my life, poems and stories with people.


  • Would you rather have a few loyal commenters or lots of silent followers?


Hmmm, that’s hard, probably lots of silent followers.


  • What is your favourite childhood memory?


There was this time my family and I were at this huge, grassy place which used to be an estate. We were having a picnic and just all playing and laughing, I just remember it as a sunlit, happy kind of thing.


  • What is your favourite topic to write about?


Just things about my life! I like to write poetry, and to share that with people, I think the amazing thing about stuff like poems and music is that whoever you are it can touch you, even if you don’t understand what the writer/ composer was talking about.


  • Funniest moment of the week?


Of this week? I was at this group I go to on a Monday, and my friend Tom messed up a line of Shakespeare very badly… The whole room was in hysterics.


  • What is your favourite word and why?


Perpendicular- because I LOVE the way it sounds… But I totally think that we should adopt these words in Britain:

  • Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
    This word describes that feeling when you are really full, but your meal is just so deliciously amazing that you can’t stop eating it…
  • Yuputka (Ulwa)
    You know when you get out of bed at night, and you are creeping to the bathroom (or wherever) and you get that prickly sensation of something lightly crawling on your skin… That is what this word is.
  • Boketto (Japanese) 
    The act of gazing uselessly into the distance, deep in thought.


  • Who is your favourite fictional character?


That is sooo hard, I may have to give a top five:

  1. Elizabeth Bennet
  2. Mr. Darcy (Die-hard Pride and Prejudice fan, right here, folks)
  3. Kenneth Ford (Rilla of Ingleside)
  4. Aslan (Whenever he appears in the incredible Narnia series I feel a sense of peace like nothing can go wrong.)
  5. Ella (Ella Enchanted- another of my absolute favourite books!)


  • What did you have for breakfast this morning?


Cereal. Nothing special… 😀


  • Who/what inspires you the most?


Jesus! But aside from him, my older sister is pretty amazing, and I am deeply inspired by Rachel Joy Scott, who is a real life hero who died in a school shooting in 1999. (The movie about it is called I’m Not Ashamed.)


I am so sorry, I only know a handful of bloggers so can only nominate one….

My sister Hannah! She has a great blog where she reviews books and theatre performances. Here is the link:

Here are some questions Hannah:

  1. What do you love most about reading?
  2. What is your favourite thing about life at the moment?
  3. What is your favourite movie?
  4. Which season do you like the most?
  5. Which movie or book character do you think you are most like?
  6. What is your favourite animal?
  7. Are you a day or a night person?
  8. Where is your favourite place you have ever been?
  9. Chocolate or Sweets?
  10. Favourite celebrity?

The Yellow Dress.

This is a poem that I wrote about losing childhood. When I was about 9, I had (as I describe) a yellow dress. It had pink flowers on it and was, in all opinions aside from my own, very ugly. So for about a summer of my life I walked around looking rather like a battenberg. This poem started off being about another dress I owned, it was a huge, heavy, denim dress with massive pockets perfect for holding notebooks or a small teddy bear, but I changed it to be about my Yellow Dress. Anyway, I hope you like it!

The Yellow Dress.

By H. Evans

When I was younger,

I wore a dress.

A yellow dress.

I mock myself now.

But then,

The ugly material was as beautiful to me

As silk or satin is now.

I laugh.

But really,

I cry.

Missing my yellow dress.

And the girl in it.

Now I stand

For hours.

Sifting through my clothes.

Searching for a yellow dress.

That can’t be found.

Gone like the girl who wore it.

My memory hates the yellow dress.

But loves the girl who went with it.

Who grinned at the way the yellow stuff

Caught the sun.

And turned to gold.

My sister scorned the dress.

When it didn’t fit me anymore.

I tried to make her wear it.

But love,

Like anything,

Cannot be forced.

And even as the soft cloth slips through my fingers.

So the girl.



Glancing back over her shoulder,

At me.

Tied down with more beautiful dresses,

That make me feel small.

Flying in her yellow dress.


With the sheer exhilaration of life.

Painted against my memory,

A patch of yellow in my past.