The Whole Business With Kiffo And The Pitbull is Suitable for the year 10 English classroom, mainly as it is set at a year ten level. The main characters are fifteen years old, the themes of the novel may not be things experienced by students in year ten, but are things that they can relate to, and the plot is very involving. Even the slang and language is directed at a year ten level.
The main characters, Jaryd Kiffing (‘Kiffo’) and Calma Harrison, are very simple characters, and are easy to relate to. They are both fifteen years old, as are many of the students in year ten. They are also very different, giving a greater range of students that can connect to them. Kiffing is not particularly intelligent, but demonstrates great sporting skill, mainly Australian football, throughout the novel. Calma, however, is a model student, very clever, but without any talent in sports. They are both protagonists, and shape the plot of the story, as without both of them it would not exist, especially considering that the story is told in first person from Calma’s viewpoint.
The most significant similarity between Calma and Kiffo is the problems they experience in both their families, demonstrating the theme of family issues. Calma, who’s father left them when she was young, is raised single-handedly by her mother. We do not learn much about the father, and he is only mentioned a couple of times. Calma’s mother works two jobs, and so they spend very little time together. Calma has suggested several times that her mother accept compensation money, so that they can be together more often, but she is very adamant and refuses to take money from other hard working tax payers. At the end of the novel, however, Calma’s mother is sacked from one of her jobs, and so considers staying with only one job, and accepting compensation. The family issues surrounding Kiffo are quite different, however. His mother is suggested to be dead, with little insight. His brother is dead, of a...
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