88 is angry. Damien can feel it prickling the air between then. Every muscle in his body is taut, ready to run, planning his escape. Out of the corner of his eye he watches as 88 slowly packs tobacco in a cigarette paper, rolls it into a cylinder, gets up and moves to sit right next to Damien, so close Damien has to clench his teen and hang onto the chair to stop himself from bolting...
Damien is new at the school and already in trouble with his teacher and the principal. Drawing is his only great resource- a way of expressing memories, wishes and anxieties. Then Damien finds out that his father '88' is back in town and taking up with his mum again. 88 is a bikie with a violent streak- Damien hates him, and can't bear the thought of him hitting Mum again. Bu although Damien is horrified when 88 moves in, he soon discovers that his father's Harley motorbike gives him glamour in the eyes of classmates. When Alexander, the leader of the in-group of boys, invites him home, Damien turns his back on his old friends.
Touching on themes of bullying, family violence and the resilience of children, The Devil You Know takes you inside the mind and under the skin of a troubled boy with a vivid imagination and a gift for drawing. Set in a small-town community in the Top End, it is a funny, moving and realistic story of Damien's efforts to stand up for himself and resolve his own violent impulses and minor betrayals.
Leonie Norrington was born in Darwin and grew up at Barunga community in southern Arnehm Land, running around in the bush, riding horse and enjoying freedom, sunburn and danger. Being brought up within a mixed culture environment, Leonie has always been very much a apart of the Aboriginal stories and issues that surround her. 'I am interested in the places where cultures and languages meet,' she says. 'Especially how people use language and story to bridge culture differences or to make statements about their separateness.'
Leonie has established a strong reputation for writing honest, convincing novels about life in the north of Australia (The Barrumbi Kids trilogy and The Last Muster.) She writes in a mix of English, Kriol and Language and her stories are a beautifully conceived reflection of the life she lives. Black and white characters merge, lives are entwined and for her there is no racial issue, merely a different way of looking. Leonie is a passionate supporter of Aboriginal people and demonstrates enormous respect for her neighbours within her writing. Leonie based on a farm in the Northern Territory, where she is the presenter for TV show Gardening Australia., She is married, loves gardening, going fishing and hunting and making up stories for her grandson.
The Devil You Know
Allen and Unwin
Author: Leonie Norrington