Read My Mind
A junior novel published by Lothian Books.
Tahnee has had enough. Her mother is a leading architect going for a big contract and she’s always at the office. She doesn’t seem to care about Tahnee at all, and gives only a little bit of attention to her younger daughter, Danika, who is basically being brought up by the young live-in nanny, Beth. Tahnee feels it’s time for things to change and, after a couple of major upsets, her dad agrees.
Tahnee’s best friend Ellen has a major problem with both her parents – they have serious plans for Ellen as regards her musical career and they won’t let her do the things she wants to do, like going to the football to watch her favourite team – not to mention her favourite player!
Both girls need to sort out their parents.
A forbidden trip by train to see Essendon play at Geelong, and a school event, ‘The Night of the Notables’, during which students have to dress up as their heroes, brings many issues to a head, and to a happy resolution, for both girls.
This novel of 30,000 words for 10-14 year old readers is a look through adolescent eyes at the dilemma of working mothers. It will appeal equally to male and female readers, regardless of the two main characters being girls. Tahnee and Ellen attend a co-ed college and both love football.
‘READ MY MIND!’ is set firmly in Malvern, the suburb next door in Melbourne where I live with my family. I’ve lived in the Malvern area for more than twenty years. The feeling of place is very strong in the book.
If you ever visit Malvern you’ll be able to find lots of the places Tahnee goes: the library on High Street, the op shop, Glenferrie and Wattletree Roads with their trams, Malvern Central shopping centre, the bookshop, Spring Road park, Malvern train station, Giorgio’s bistro – and you might even work out which school I think Tahnee goes to, even though there’s no school actually called ‘Malvern College’.
You’ll possibly find Tahnee’s house too, because Malvern is full of Victorian and Edwardian homes, but, as Tahnee’s mum is a very modern architect, I reckon she’d definitely live in an ultra modern house – and there are only a couple of those in Malvern – so what I think of as Tahnee’s house is fairly easy to find.
You may recognise that the author Tahnee researches and portrays at the Night of the Notables is based on Melbourne children’s author Elizabeth Honey (whose initials Emmeline Hope deliberately shares). Liz was most encouraging when I was in the early stages of writing this novel and I thank her for that support. I hope you enjoy the parallels with Liz Honey’s personality and her work in children’s literature – you may find some similarity between Liz and Emmeline’s titles too! Liz is an author whom I much admire and whose work I thoroughly enjoy reading, although it’s very different to mine.