Review Blog

Nov 12 2007

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

cover image

Orchard Books, 2007.
(Age 9-13) Another one of Jerry Spinelli's wonderful, quirky books, Eggs uplifts the heart and leaves the reader with memories of a tale well told. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship between 9 year old David, grieving after the death of his mother in a freak accident, and Primrose, a 13 year old, who has taken herself away from her clairvoyant mother and lives in a caravan in the yard. The two meet on an Easter egg hunt where David comes across Primrose lying inert under a pile of leaves, pretending to be dead. Their unlikely friendship develops and each helps the other deal with the difficult things in their lives.

Rich characterisation is a feature of Spinelli's work. The reader feels an immediate bond with David, living with his grandmother, while his father works away from home, and with Primrose whose only contact with her father is a photo. Eccentric characters like Refrigerator John and Madame Dufee bring added enjoyment to the story.

Readers will find it easy to identify with the problem that David and Primrose share, each having a single parent and how they shun those who love them. They will delight in their adventures sneaking out at night, searching for nightwalkers (maggots) and running off to the city. The humour of the dialogue and unusual characters lightens the underlying serious theme of grief and alienation.

I think this book would be a great read aloud and there are many issues that could be discussed: single parents, grief, immature mothers and the symbolism of eggs throughout the book and on the cover. Spinelli has delivered another fine, memorable and enjoyable read.
Pat Pledger

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