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Finding Your Place: Review of Sky by Ondine Sherman

May 14, 2019

After her mother’s untimely death, fifteen-year-old Sky moves from the city to a small Australian town to live with her Aunt Paula and Uncle David. Moving home and away from the city involves making a big adjustment at the best of times, but while she’s grieving the loss of her mother it’s overwhelming.

While Aunt Paula and Uncle David have welcomed her into their home, Sky is unsure about where she belongs and if they really want her around. It feels like the only person she could find comfort with is her mum’s best friend Melody who shared a place with them in the city. Yet Melody is nowhere to be found…

Despite all these challenges, Sky’s determined to try and make the best of things when she starts at the local school. As a vegetarian and environmentalist she gravitates towards the Landcare group but when the popular girls start to take an interest in her she is distracted by what popularity could offer her – she hasn’t always had a smooth ride with friendships and fitting in is a lot easier if you have the backing of the ‘cool kids.’

Is fitting in, worth sacrificing her values for? When Sky starts to investigate a local chicken farm for a school assignment and discovers that they are being mistreated, she begins to question her priorities. Lucy, from Landcare is the one who helps her without question and then there’s Oliver, who feels the way she does about animals and seems interested in more than friendship. Can she make the right decisions and stay true to herself while working out where she belongs in the world?

She’s also starting to want things cleared up about her missing father – her mother has left a lot of questions unanswered and her aunt doesn’t seem to want to help. When Sky has to make big decisions and needs their support, will they be there for her?

Sky explores so many important issues for teens: the value of family and navigating friendships yet staying true to your values, along with respecting animals and the environment and looking at ways young people can contribute to change.

Beautifully written and poignant, Australian author Ondine Sherman has also drawn on her own work in animal protection, creating a very special book sure to engage teens who are finding their place in the world.

Purchase a copy of Sky | Read an extract | Read a Q&A with author Ondine Sherman

Ondine is the co-founder and managing director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute. She is a life-long animal advocate, passionate about promoting respect and compassion for all creatures. Ondine holds a BA in Communications and MA in Environmental Studies. She is an ambassador for Action for Dolphins and director of conservation NGO This is My Earth (TiME), and writes regularly about animal protection in the media.

Ondine grew up in Sydney and now lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and three children. Her mischievous street cats, loyal dogs and ex-battery chickens all keep her extraordinarily entertained.





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