The December Boys

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A Summer by the Sea

After that summer, nothing would ever be the same. The December Boys, written by Michael Noonan, is about five orphan boys who are taken to the Australian coast for a summer holiday. Then, the threat that one of them would be adopted into a family flares up a rivalry between the boys and they begin to compete with each other for something they all want desperately. The December Boys tells the story of five boys, Maps, Misty, Spark, Fido, and Choker, who leave their orphanage in the dusty outback for a vacation together on the coast. During their stay, they meet an adventurous motorcycle rider, Fearless, and his beautiful wife, Teresa. Choker accidentally overhears Fearless telling some of the locals that he wants to surprise Teresa and let her adopt one of the boys. When the boys realize what is at stake, they begin to compete for Teresa’s attention and affection. All five of the boys loose sight of the family that they had all along and the bond that they share. When Teresa finds out that she is pregnant, Fearless no longer needs to adopt one of the boys. But when Fearless explains what the surprise would have been, Teresa was appalled at the thought of adopting just one of them, it was all or nothing. This novel teaches you that family comes in many forms, and the one’s who have been and will always be there for you are a person’s true family.

Two literary devices effectively used in The December Boys are symbolism and dialogue. Choker finds an old picture frame in the junkyard and uses it to see things that cannot be seen with the normal eye. He uses this as a portal to another world, imagining things that don’t exist and seeing them through his picture frame. Dialogue is also an important device used in this novel. Set in the dusty outback of Australia in the sixties, the natives have a strong accent and way of speaking. The author uses dialogue to transport the reader into the setting and create the illusion that they are really...
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