The Simple Gift
I'm sixteen, and soon to be homeless.
Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train re...more
What an absolutely delightful Aussie book this is for both adults and young readers. The layout is long, slender strings of free verse. No arty rhymes or fancy rhythms, just a flowing, straight-forward, thoughtful story.
Billy is a 16-year old kid who’s walked out on his drunk, abusive father and hopped a train, in the tradition of the old-time hobos ridin’ the rails.
He doesn’t have much, but he has his freedom and has found a friendly local library where he’s allowed to sit and read to his he ...more
Wow, I loved The Simple Gift. It is beautiful, touching and potent.
First off, The Simple Gift is written in verse. There is something about verse novels that resonates with me. Maybe because as a teen I often wrote my diaries in verse. I find sometimes simple words can capture so much emotion ...more
You were a wonderful student and the only one I know of that would appreciate a book."
Simple enough but it made me smile and so I gave the book a chance and I'm glad I did.
This was a wonderful read and I wish I still had the book so I could re-read it but it's been misplaced.
The Simple Gift was simply that, absolutely brilliant. Written in free verse, it follows the lives of three separate individuals that find one another through circumstance, with sixteen year old Billy being at the center of the story. It was incredibly emotional, powerful and passionate. Not only does the storyline told in verse make The Simple Gift unique, it adds to the beauty and emotion. I'm an instant fan of Steven Herrick, and The Simple Gift has lef ...more
Meine Meinung: Mit Wir beide wussten, es war was passiert habe ich, ohne es zu wissen, zu einem ganz besonderen Buch gegriffen. Das ...more
I don't read much Aussie novels (which I need to fix) so it was really nice to read about places I know like TAFE and Coles lol.
Really sweet yet sad story, and extremely easy and quick to read. Read it in an hour or maybe less (this needs to be my average reading time with all books:)).
I do think it gives a very idealistic image of homelessness but who cares it just strengthens the message.
The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick involves three main characters: sixteen year old Billy Luckett who leaves his alcoholic father and ends up in the fictional town of Bendarat. Caitlin Holmes, a seventeen year old who can’t wait to escape to university, and Old Bill, homeless by choice and trying his best to forget the past.
These three characters sound so different but essentially they are all good people. Billy helps Old Bill to repay the kindness he’s been shown in the past. Caitlin looks past ...more
I enjoyed the story, and the language, and it was refreshing to read something about 'generosity' and 'friendship', rather than 'being an outsider' and 'grief' and 'prejudice'...
However, it is a pretty idealistic representation of homelessness. Herrick may have experienced a kind of romantic solitary-yet-spiritually-fulfilling version of no-fixed-addressness, but it's not a particularly realistic of teen homelessness in Australia. And maybe that's fi ...more
I don't know how he does it with such brevity, and in such straightforward language, but Stephen Herrick brought three beautiful characters to life for me, conjuring flesh and blood off the printed page. He made me care for them deeply, mourn ...more
Well, The Simple Gift isn’t going to be okay for primary school students because it’s the coming-of-age story of homeless 16-year-old Billy who runs away to avoid an abu ...more
He ends up in the town of Bendarat where his days begin to follow a pattern. He sleeps in a disused rail car at the train station siding yard and each day he treks to ...more
Well, The Simple Gift was no different. It’s about Billy, who chose to be homeless rather than remain at home and be his own father’s punching bag. He ended up in a Freight Yard where he met Old Bill, a fellow hobo. He also found Caitlin, a rich girl who found what she was looking for in the person of Billy. Though all three characters were unforgettab ...more
The book the simple gift has multiple settings. The settings are Billy’s school, the train, the library, and Billy’s father house. Billy did live with his father until he left away. Billy left away because his father was abusive .I believe this story is in the 20th or 21st century. I say this because when Billy was in the library he said “Since I was in a library I might as well enjoy me a book, perhaps a book about teens.”
Back in the day, I don’t think that people wr ...more
What I did like about this book was how it stripped away all the judging attitudes that are common today. It made me see that sometimes people judge so much by looks, by wealth, whether you have a roo ...more