Melbourne based Sally Rippin has recently hit the jackpot with the highly entertaining adventures of Billie B Brown written for young kids. Her new fantasy-ish title Angel Creek is for a slightly older audience but is entertaining with a message, in a slightly different way.
Angel Creek tells the story of Jelly (short for something long and old-fashioned that doesn’t suit her) and her cousins Pik and Gino (who’s taller than Jelly, even though he’s a year younger). Jelly has just moved house and doesn’t like her new house, except for the apricot tree in the yard and creek down behind it (Merri Creek, for those playing at home). There’s nothing ordinary about this creek though, as Jelly and Gino find an angel with a broken wing and nurse it back to health. But keeping an angel isn’t as easy as they thought and this one seems to have a particular bond to Jelly. Then the creek starts behaving weirdly, Jelly’s tree gets struck by lightning and Nonna goes to hospital. And that’s just the start. This book packs a lot into whats actually quite a short novel, and its very easy and fun to read. From bullying and death to first crushes (Jelly’s about to start high school) and the supernatural this book is packed with subtle messages along with a magical reality-based-fantasy narrative.