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Everybody Jam

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Danny lives on a cattle station in the middle of the Australian outback, where everyone’s getting ready for the annual muster. But this year, everything is different: because Danny’s beloved older brother Jonny has died in a farm accident, and nobody talks about it: because his fouteen year old sister is pregnant, and about to be packed off to Alice Springs in disgrace: be ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Andersen
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Average rating 3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-contemporary
I'm not entirely sure what I expected from Everybody Jam, but what I got wasn't it. Although I enjoyed reading it, I finished it thinking, "That's it?"

The story is of several months in Danny Dawson's life, a cattle ranch owner's son in the Australian outback. His brother, Jonny, died a year ago, his sister, Sissy, is pregnant, and there has been a long drought - things are not looking great. But Danny is looking forward to this year's muster - where the cattle across the territory are gathered t
Alex Fairhill
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book had me in two minds. It seems to be more a series of anecdotes than a complete narrative. The only real thread I can see drawing it all together is the impact of adult prejudices on children, through both their behaviour and attitudes.

Danny is 13, lives with his family on a cattle station in the Australian Outback, a couple of hours from Alice Springs. His older brother died six months earlier, and his 14-year-old sister is pregnant. The story covers the time between the family finding
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really adventure of a story.
Everybody really needs to jam.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set on a cattle station in the Northern Territory, during a long, hot summer, Everybody Jam is narrated by 13 year old Danny Dawson, whose family run the station. Life has not been kind to them recently. They are grieving for the loss of the eldest son Jonny, who has been killed in an accident. 14 year old Sissy is pregnant, and won’t say who the father is. The drought is threatening their livelihood. It’s nearly time for the annual muster, the last before Danny is sent away to boarding school, ...more
Alex Horsewell
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everybody Jam
by Ali Lewis
published by Andersen Press

This book was a funny one.

This book includes a lot of Australian slang which makes it harder to read than a usual book, its confusing at times and can make following the story difficult. I feel like as the story goes on you begin to understand the language a little more.

I do not like the writing style, it is written in the first person, which I prefer to third, however, the writing in places doesn't flow very well. I enjoy prose and poetry, I l
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Read and reviewed for School Library Journal (issue 2016-01-01):

Gr 8 Up—Originally published in the UK, this 2012 Carnegie Medal shortlist title is a peek into the Australian rancher's lifestyle. Danny lives on a cattle station and not only helps his family with the livestock but has to grapple with the recent death of his older brother and his older sister coming home from boarding school pregnant. Were these troubles not enough for the 13-year-old, Danny's mom hires a clueless English backpack
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slj-review, ya
Reviewed for School Library Journal (issue 2016-01-01):

Gr 8 Up—Originally published in the UK, this 2012 Carnegie Medal shortlist title is a peek into the Australian rancher's lifestyle. Danny lives on a cattle station and not only helps his family with the livestock but has to grapple with the recent death of his older brother and his older sister coming home from boarding school pregnant. Were these troubles not enough for the 13-year-old, Danny's mom hires a clueless English backpacker to hel
May 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Everybody Jam is a very different novel. It’s unique and certainly ‘broadened my horizons’. Ali Lewis has written a remarkable debut and definitely deserves to be on the shortlist.
It describes the transition of emotions in the everyday life of thirteen-year-old Danny Dawson. Living at Timber Creek Station in the Australian Outback, and certainly enduring more hardships than any other teenager I’ve known, Danny is determined to prove himself to the fellas at the annual muster.
The muster is the se
Erin Denae
This book had no plot. There were a few small conflicts in the main characters life that were spread out way to long. It was like I read a kids diary but he didn't really have anything that exciting happening at the time. The characters also seemed very underdeveloped. The main character, Danny, was very immature. The only redeeming qualities were his relationship with Buzz the camel and learning about the Australian cattle business. ...more
Caitlin Bennett
This book provides an excellent glimpse into rural Australian life. It discusses poverty, racism, and the economics of the area. While it is certainly well-written with details and excellent character development, I found myself frustrated with the main character. This caused me, personally, to lose interest.
Mrs Bohmer
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Set on an Australian farm. Told through the eyes of a 13 year old boy.

Various different plots that weave together - his brother's death, training a camel, the muster, an english girl, and his sister's pregnancy.

Uncomfortable reading the derogatory terms used to describe various people in the book and how they are talked about by other characters.

Coming of age story.
Alison Brownlee
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
A good book but just not great. It lost the pace a little round the middle then all of a sudden steam rolled to the end. I wanted to know what happened to the characters? Just felt a little flat at the end.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the most interesting reads so far. It was nice to learn about Australia and their tradition of mustering cattle. Really curious about the way their slang came to be but I'm happy I figured most of them out and educated others with them. ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was interesting to learn abut the different traditions in Australia. the farming was described in great detail and i felt a if i was a part of the story. Daniel represented the realistic character of a boy and I found that to be refreshing.
Cara Rawlins
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
i really enjoyed this book. the plot line is unexpected and unpredictable as well as captivating. its also fun to learn about another culture and their ways of living. i recommend this book.
Michael Cattigan
So now I've finished, did this novel improve?

Unfortunately no!

It is entirely the fault of the narrator I think and just shows how hugely important the narrative voice is in a first person narrative. Here it is the voice of a thirteen year old boy and he just annoyed the hell out of me (and as a parent and teacher, I have quite a high threshold for teenage annoyance!)!

The episode where he stole a ute and drove into a stampede of cattle in order to save his camel left me speechless for all the wr
I received my copy of Timber Creek Station from Net Galley. Thank you!

This is the kind of book that I could really do with giving a second read, to fully work out everything I thought and felt about it. But there are many other books I am looking forward to reading at the moment, so I don't have the time to do that. I'll give my thoughts as they are and maybe come back to it later.

The best thing about Timber Creek Station is the narrator, Danny. Ali Lewis perfectly captured the essence of a thir
Dec 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: read-for-review
Everybody Jam is a poignant, funny and earthy coming-of-age story. I found it utterly mesmerising.

Danny is thirteen and this is the last year he will be at home on the cattle ranch for the annual muster. Next year he will be off at boarding school in Alice Springs. But this year everything is different because this is the first muster without Johnny. Danny is struggling to cope with the loss of his older brother and so are the rest of his family but no one talks about it. It is not only Danny’s
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This book is shortlisted for the 2012 Carnegie Medal, which is how I heard of it, as it apparently hasn't been published in the USA. The author has worked in journalism and did actually spend time on a cattle station in Australia, so the story is told in a quite straight-forward way, almost as a piece of journalism. It is a sort of slice of time on the ranch, as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy. In that way, it could be considered a coming of age sort of story. The back cover war ...more
Big Book Little Book

When Danny's mum admits she can't cope, the family hires a housegirl to help out - a wide-eyed English backpacker. She doesn't have a clue what she's let herself in for. And neither do they.

Danny is thirteen and still trying to cope after the death of his older brother last year. He has an older sister Sissy who is pregnant at fourteen. Its summer in Australia and the rains aren’t coming. The annual muster at the cattle station at which Danny lives is ab
Maybe I’m just not the right target group for this book and I’m being unfair in not liking it. For job reasons, I’ve had to sift through a lot of young adult literature lately, and I’m growing impatient with the genre's writing style, which is often subpar. At first, I thought, "oh no, not camels again". (Robyn Davidson has covered that field, thank you very much.)
Rather, it’s another first person narration by a 13 year old boy, Danny Dawson, who grows up on a remote Australian cattle ranch. He
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya-kids
A great coming-of-age tale set in the Australian outback. Danny Dawson is a 13 year old boy who lives on a cattle station in the outback with his family. Last year Danny's older brother Jonny was killed in an accident and the whole family is still grieving. Danny's 14 year old sister is pregnant but won't say who the father of the baby is. Danny's parents decide to hire a house girl to help out around the house as Danny's mum has to take care of his big sister. A British girl named Liz who Danny ...more
Danny is 13 and lives on a cattle station (Timber Creek Station) miles away from Alice Springs, Australia. In this story we get an up close and personal look of the family, their life on the cattle station, the trials and tribulations of this life, as well as an eye opening view of the racism prevalent against the aboriginal people.

I was so excited about reading this book. The content looked fascinating, ripe with conflict, and about a lifestyle that I was curious about, but knew little of. The
Beth Bonini
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm always teaching my young students how to work out vocabulary words by using contextual clues, and this book (set on a cattle station in the Australian outback) gave me a chance to practice what I preach. One of the strongest aspects of the book is the "voice" of its young protagonist, Danny, and it is rich in an Australian vernacular (which was mostly unknown to me).

There is a lot of drama in this book, and it comes thick and fast. I've always noticed that troubles seem to come in bunches,
Candy Wood
The suggested reading level for Everybody Jam is 12 and over according to the Carnegie shortlist, and a note on the back cover warns “unsuitable for younger readers”: while the plot involves adult issues and language, it’s all presented from a child’s perspective. Danny, the narrator, is 13, living with his family on a cattle station in the Australian outback. His older brother Jonny recently died in an accident, and his 14-year-old sister Sissy has come home pregnant from boarding school. The g ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Everybody Jam takes place a year after Danny’s older brother died and just after his sister gets found out. Danny is mad at his sister for causing more hassle in the run up to the muster (yearly cattle gathering), the first one he gets to take part in before he has to leave for boarding school. At his mother’s insistence the family hires a housegirl, Liz who knows nothing about cattle farming or making toast without burning down a kitchen.

Everybody Jam is narrated by Danny over several months as
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
'Everybody Jam' was more of a holiday book, because it took a while to read.

I believe the name 'Everybody Jam', itself, has a message: it means a thing or a person that everybody loves. This could be Australia, the muster, Jonny, Alex or Liz. Deep down, I think it might show the link between the whites and the Aborigines because 'Everybody Jam' is something they all like and thereby have in common.

I thought that it was very clever of the author to add Liz into the story as she was a reflection o
Kim B.
May 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
This book didn't work for me for a number of reasons—it's absurdly heavy on exposition and, frankly, there was so much going on here that the subplot involving Sissy's baby and the racism within the Dawson family came off as extremely poorly-handled and the issue of the dead brother felt like sort of an afterthought. Plus, Liz was a glaring example of an author stand-in in the worst way, and another reason for the book to provide... more exposition. Yay. And I am often hesitant to call a protago ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, wonderful book. When I opened it and read the first page and saw that it is written in Aussie vernacular, my heart sank. I thought, oh this is a gimmick, it will get tedious very quickly. How wrong I was. The book feels so fresh and vibrant written this way. Life on an Australian cattle farm could hardly be any less sentimental. It’s tough, dirty, hard work. The portrayal of Danny is so incredibly tender; he’s still a child but desperate to grow up, and the way his grieving for ...more
Barbara Band
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Read this as part of the Carnegie shortlist. Enjoyed it eventually but took me quite a while to get into it. The story is set in Australia so there's lots of Australian words for things, it's quite easy to guess what they are (if they're not explained) but I can imagine that some students would find this offputting. There's also a lot of Australian place names (no idea if they're made up or really exist) and these were also a bit off-putting - even some of the students remarked that they didn't ...more
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Lectores españole...: Giveaway "Nunca Llueve en Timber Creek" 1 27 Mar 24, 2015 11:53AM  
Bokt goodreads gr...: De schoenen van mijn broer 2 9 Sep 06, 2013 04:46AM  

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Ali Lewis was born in rural North Yorkshire in 1976, the second of three children.

Being cast as Rose Herriot in the final series of All Creatures Great and Small opened the door to a new world.

After graduating from university, she went into a career in journalism, then in 2002 she left to travel the world. It was in Australia, working on an outback cattle station, that she found the inspiration fo

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