Looking for Alibrandi

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In the novel, Looking for Alibrandi, Josie must learn to deal with a whole range of issues. These include her cultural identity, her attitudes to her family and friends, meeting her father for the first time and her acceptance of her place in society. Each of these issues encourages and enables Josie to change and to understand her life and her role in her family and her community more positively.

In the beginning of Looking for Alibrandi it is evident that Josie is conflicted about her heritage. She is unsure where she belongs and just wants to fit in. “I think I had it worst. My mother was born here so as far as the Italians were concerned we weren’t completely one of them. Yet because my grandparents were born in Italy we weren’t completely Australian.” At times she is embarrassed about her Italian heritage. For example she finds tomato day, the day the family gets together to make and bottle tomato sauce, overbearing and embarrassing, “Tomato day. Oh god, if anyone ever found out about it I’d die.” As the story progresses Josie grows as a person and starts to accept and become proud of her Italian heritage, speaking of herself as “…an Australian with Italian blood flowing rapidly through my veins. I’ll say that with pride, because it’s pride that I feel.”

Early in the novel Josie informs the reader that her mother is “unmarried” and that the two of them live together. She is confused about her feelings regarding her father who she knows about but has never met, “I felt sick at the idea of meeting him, though at the same time I desperately wanted to.” When Josie does meet her father she rejects him and they make a promise, “You keep out of my life, I keep out of yours.” She rejects him because of her concerns for her mother. After an incident at school Josie needs her father’s help and he responds. Then, as the story progresses she gets to know him better and grows to love and respect him. “But I love Michael Andretti more and more every day. I love him...