Read One Night by Margaret Wild text version

One Night by Margaret Wild One night is a poignant verse novel about Gabe, Bram and Al, boys who live on the edge through either drinking, copious amounts of casual sex or violence. Gabe's one night encounter with Helen results in her pregnancy and flight from home. Helen's decision to cherish her baby means tough choices, but is Gabe willing to support her? This verse novel is so full of issues that could be discussed in the classroom; homelessness, teen pregnancy, families, disabilities, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, friendship and relationships. Verse novels have had great success in year 9 English classes here as the students connect with them to such an extent that the work they produce is unparalleled. One night is beautifully written and the sparse text layout ensures access by teen readers of all abilities. So much can be gained from so few carefully chosen words. Highly recommended at year 9 and above. Judith Way, Mill Park Secondary College, VIC Having enjoyed the verse novel Jinx, I was pleased when I read One Night another verse novel by Margaret Wild. This time the issue covered is teen pregnancy. There are two main characters: Gabe and Helen along with Bram and Al. The book is divided into three sections ­ Gabe, Helen, and Gabe and Helen and focus on the mentioned character/s. The book shows what can happen after `one night'. Gabe is a young man, who enjoys parties and has had an endless string of girlfriends. He lives with his father, step-mum, Sara and brother, Luke. In the words of Sara he is "in danger of becoming a beautiful but heartless man". Helen is a young woman who sees herself as ugly and when the stunning looking Gabe takes an interest in her at a party (another conquest?) she falls for him. But after their one night stand he doesn't call and won't return her messages. On top of all that she finds herself pregnant! Soon Helen is out of her home and living in a boarding home working as a dish washer to make ends meet. When Raphael is born things certainly change for Helen and in a time of desperation she takes Raphael to Gabe's home leaving him with a note for the weekend... I loved the characters in One Night and the way the story was structured. The characters each had their own demons and issues to sort out...but with the warmth of Wild's words were able to get through the tough times. One Night is certainly not a pessimistic teen issues story; rather it is one of rich characters and a happy resolution for all characters. This book adds another strong title to the growing number of verse novels. Highly recommended for Year 9 and 10 students. Stephen James-Smoult, YARA website, Canberra One night is a beautifully constructed novel, suitable for mature teenager readers. The story of boy meets girl, girl falls pregnant is a well worn theme but Margaret Wild has given this tale a particular twist that engages the reader in an intimate and at the same time, alarming way. Her depiction of characters, even those minor players, shows a depth and sensitivity not always evident in these types of novels. There are a number of stories running parallel that are finely drawn together to a satisfying and well rounded conclusion. This is a book that deals with some daunting and delicate topics but ultimately it is a book of hope and courage. In addition to the uniquely woven plot we are exposed to the exquisite poetic style in which Margaret Wild has chosen to present this book. Readers of Steven Herrick's Love, ghosts and nose hair, and A place like this should appreciate this work. I think also those readers who enjoyed Margot Lanagan's The best thing and Touching earth lightly will welcome this novel. Although it is a book that I think will appeal primarily to female readers, it nevertheless has some strong male characters and those boys who appreciate literature should find it engaging. This book could be a useful classroom tool using either the whole text or selected passages. It is an interesting example of writing in verse form and also contains a rich mix of language that

would lend itself to an exploration of imagery and mood in text. There are also a number of themes including, growing up, drug and alcohol abuse, friendship, family relationships, teenage pregnancy, self perception and acceptance and making positive changes that could all be explored within this novel. Kate Schneider, Healesville High School, VIC If your students enjoyed "Love, Ghosts and Nose Hair" and "Jinx", then Margaret Wild's new verse novel will be a sure winner. This genre has rapidly become a favourite, and One Night" will fit into many of your reading themes for Year 11 and 12 units. It is basically the story of Gabe and Helen's search for their own place in the complicated families and world in which they live. In "one brief encounter" lie their lives and their futures together. Other characters and their problems wander in and out of the main story to create a realistic backdrop against which the plot develops. While dealing with some heavy issues, "One Night" offers positive outcomes for both teenagers and adults. I expect "One Night" to be a very popular read, so make your bookings early. Patricia Andersen, Nanango State High School, QLD

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One Night by Margaret Wild

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