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Calypso Summer

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Calypso Summer is a story told by Calypso, a young Nukunu man, fresh out of high school in Rastafarian guise. After failing to secure employment in sports retail, his dream occupation, Calypso finds work at the Henley Beach Health Food shop where his boss pressures him to gather native plants for natural remedies. This leads him to his Nukunu family in southern Flinders Ra ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 2014 by Magabala Books Australia (first published March 30th 2014)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Calypso is fresh out of high school and working at Henley Beach Health Food shop where his boss likes him to really put on the Rastafari and do a Bob Marley impersonation (good for sales, he says). One day his boss asks if any of Calypso’s people have secret Aborigine remedies they could sell in the Health Food shop, for a price.

Wanting to please his boss, Calypso goes to his mother who sends him to Nukunu auntie in the Flinders Ranges, to learn healing remedies that he can maybe bring home to
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
A wonderful YA coming of age story about a young Indigenous man finding himself, his family, his culture and love. Calypso is so sweet and the rest of the characters are complex and authentic. A great read.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian-lit
This was pretty fantastic.

I think this book does a really great job of balancing the personal and the political. It's a coming of age/finding yourself story. It's a falling-in-love story. It's also an unflinching look at the injustice and racism faced by Indigenous Australians, both in the past and today.

I smiled, I cringed, I got angry. I am left hopeful.

Judy Wollin
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kyle struggles with two things; the way white people respond to his brown skin and dreadlocks and knowing who he is. He goes by the name Calypso and loves all things Caribbean—West Indian Cricket team, Usain Bolt, Bob Marley and Reggae music.
Calypso struggles to find work and is rewarded for helping Gary at the local DVD shop with a job there. Gary changes the shop to selling health and natural products and the shop does well. With the change comes a request from Gary for Calypso to find Aborigi
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would be a great addition to any high school library. The novel is about a young Indigenous man called Calypso as he tries to work out who he is. Some discussion points for students include - stereotypes, Indigenous culture, land rights. This novel is definitely worth a read.
Mar 28, 2021 rated it liked it
This read like a book they’d make you study in school - packs in all the issues in an okay-ish story. It dragged in the middle and the ending was abrupt with a couple of loose ends (what happened to Run?).
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this for uni and really enjoyed it. A fantastic voice.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable coming of age and back to country tale.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Calypso Summer is a YA title which was published under the auspices of the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project sponsored by the State Library of Queensland. As it says on the black&write website

black&write! is a national project and the first of its kind in Australia. It was developed to foster a significant Indigenous writing community. Launched by author Boori Monty Pryor and actor Ernie Dingo at the 2010 Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, it is a bold, inspiring project designed to
Also reviewed on my Youtube channel.

This is the story of Calypso, a young Nukunu man, and how he meets his extended family and visits Nukunu land for the first time. It's also the story of Calypso falling in love with a girl named Claire. And it's ALSO the story of Calypso's mum - who was part of the Stolen Generation - working through her guilt and her anger about her past, and reconnecting with her family and her Indigenous heritage. And it's ALSO ALSO about Calypso trying to save his job by f
Abby Hansen
What a great book :)
I loved that it was an honest reflection of an Indigenous boy growing up in the city being judged for his culture but not letting it define him!

Definitely worth a read, especially with any young readers struggling to accept themselves for who they are born to be
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I enjoyed this story of a young man coming to terms with his identity and family relationships. It portrays a realistic unsentimental view of young aboriginal Australians.
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Wished I'd read this much sooner - great coming of age story; urban Aboriginal boy who pretends to be Jamaican and learns who he really is ...more
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Jared Thomas was born in Port Augusta in 1976. Both his parents have Aboriginal heritage, and he identifies as Nukunu due to being raised on Nukunu land and with Nukunu culture. He has published many books and his writing explores the power of belonging and culture. In 2015 his novel Calypso Summer joined the 2015 International Youth Library White Raven list of books that deserve worldwide attenti ...more

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