Growing up in Australia with an Italian background is hard enough, but what if you are a passionate, head strong girl struggling to come to terms with a newly discovered father, an overpowering grandmother and the death of a close friend. ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ was a novel that compelled me to keep turning the pages to find out what would happen next in Josephine Alibrandi’s eventful life.
Melina Marchetta, author of the multi award winning ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ says that she finds the young adult group fascinating and identifies strongly with it. She likes the stage teenagers are at of being so open to change and growth, so vulnerable yet so exuberant. She thinks that at 28, she is still very similar to them in tastes, and that today's teenagers are maturing very much faster than those of her time. Melina is able to write about teenagers with truth and in the language they really use, because she mixes with them daily with her own family and in her teaching and because it is not long since she was that age herself.
Josephine Alibrandi, or Josie as she is known to those closest to her is a seventeen year old student and vice-captain of St Martha’s catholic girls school. Josie is a fiery young woman who finds it difficult to fit in because of her background. She was born when her mother was just seventeen and has never known her father. But one day when she is visiting her grandmother, Josie’s father Michael Andretti is at the door. She finds that the expectations of him that she had are all wrong. ”I thought he’d be tall.
I thought he’d be good looking.
Josie refers to her friends, Anna, Sera and Lee, as the group that represents all types, as none of them had fitted into any group in year 7. John Barton, also a friend of Josie and captain of St Anthony’s catholic boys school, mouthed the words “I’m bored” to her during a debate one Friday night, and since then whenever they are debating at the same venue they race off...
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