Magenta McPhee by Catherine Bateson
Woolshed Press, Random House Australia
(Age range: 8-12) Catherine Bateson is a talented writer who continually captures the eye of the Children Book Council of the Year judges and for good reason.
Magenta is a strong character shaped by the circumstances of her life and the overwhelming desire to help those close to her - particularly her recently divorced father. Written in the first person we learn initially of Magenta's concern for her father and then her quest, with the help of her 'best friend' Polly, to find him happiness. Magenta's approach may be a little unconventional but her intentions are pure gold and the results prove to be beneficial for both her father and herself. Paralleled against this is her mother's marriage preparations and her historical novel 'project' both of which are influenced by her family circumstances.
An easy read novel that provides the reader with a sense we may have not heard the last of Magenta!