By turns hilarious and bittersweet, this fresh, engaging novel illuminates the hidden corners of suburban life, love and friendship.
She's in love with a boy who barely knows she exists
In an attempt to impress him she auditions for the school play, even though she has a tendency to vomit when she performs in public
Her sister, Debbie, is marrying into a family of freaks
Gemma has to wear a swan costume to the wedding
And perhaps worst of all, Raven de Head seems to have taken a shine to her
In my family, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes and a prolonged illogical outburst.
Gemma Stone is convinced that it's always unseemly to chuck a Birkett and that it's actually insane to chuck one in front of a complete stranger. But that was before she fell in love with a boy who barely knows she exists, before she auditioned for the school play, before she met the family of freaks her sister Debbie is marrying into, before the unpredictable Raven De Head took an interest in her, and before she realised that at the right time and for the right reason, a Birkett could be a beautiful thing.
At 14 Gemma Stone has a lot on her plate:
A sharply-observed, funny and bittersweet novel about testing your wings and finding your feet.
Lisa Shanahan trained as an actor at Theatre Nepean, University of Western Sydney. Whilst studying, she taught drama and wrote plays for children. After completing her degree she undertook a Writing for Children course with Libby Gleeson where she discovered a great passion for writing stories for children. Her books include Sweetie May, Sweetie May Overboard!, What Rot!, Bear and Chook and two picture books with Allen & Unwin: Gordon's Got a Snookie and The Postman's Dog, both illustrated by Wayne Harris.
Lisa and her husband, Keiran, live with their sons Bryn and Riley in Sydney. Lisa continues to teach drama and write books and feels very lucky that she is able to do both. This is her first novel for an older age group.
My Big Birkett
Allen & Unwin
Author: Lisa Shanahan