Meg's Reviews > Deadly, Unna?

Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-author, read-it-because-i-had-to, school, ya, better-than-expected
Read in November, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. A friend had read it in high school and said it was just a book about boys and footy. Boy was I pleased to find out she was wrong. Deadly Unna is a fun read with an unfortunate end.

Deadly Unna is the story of two boys, Dumby Red and Blacky, who become friends due to shared interests. This might not seem like something to worry about... until you realise that Dumby is an Aborigine and Blacky is pale as a ghost. The boys don't care about the colour difference but it's obvious that it is important to some. The story is set in a little town in rural South Australia where tourism and fishing seem to be the main industry.

The themes dealt with in this book are ideal for the classroom, hence why it was required reading in an education course, and the story easy to get hooked into. Gwynne's handling and portrayal of the racial tensions was excellent. I loved the relationship between Dumby and Blacky, and I was especially touched at the end when Blacky snuck into the reservation to be at Dumby's funeral. The romance between Clarence and Blacky was nicely handled as well. Very sweet, very believable.

Unless you're Australian or know something about Australian culture, this might be a hard book to get into. However, I would highly reccommend it.

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