The Reluctant Jillaroo

By Isbester, Kristen | Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, February 2017 | Go to article overview

The Reluctant Jillaroo


Isbester, Kristen, Literacy Learning: The Middle Years


The reluctant jillaroo

Reviewed by Kristen Isbeter

Title:     The reluctant jillaroo
Author:    Kaz Delaney
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2016

Heidi and Harper, identical on the outside, are worlds apart on the inside. Harper's path is clear: work hard, attend Winamroo Jackaroo and Jillaroo School, develop her skills and win a place at the prestigious Tamworth Ag College, Agricoll. Everything is on track until a carelessly placed skateboard threatens to derail her plans. Wracked by guilt, skater and surfer Heidi makes a rash decision. If Harper misses this opportunity, she misses out on her dreams; so Harper won't miss out. Heidi will become her sister. In the emotional aftermath of the accident, Heidi is sure that she can pull off the switcheroo, but in the cold light of day things look far different. She is not afraid of hard work, early mornings and riding horses, but she's not at the same level as her sister. Add her sister's nemesis and rival for a scholarship at Agricoll and things are about to get tricky.

Upon first look, the novel appears as a variation on many texts which work on the perception that twins, as people, are interchangeable. However, as the story progresses, Delaney works to develop a teenage character who is struggling with her own identity. …

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