Guest Review: My Polar Dream – Jade Hameister

My Polar Dream

My Polar Dream

Jade Hameister

Pan Macmillan AU

ISBN: 9781760554774

 

Description:

Fourteen-year-old Jade Hameister had a dream: to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

In 2016, she skied to the North Pole.

In 2017, she completed the Greenland Crossing.

In 2018, she arrived at the South Pole.

This is the story of an adventurer who never gave up – who set herself incredible challenges beyond her years and experience. An adventurer who endured extremes of cold and blizzards; tackled treacherous terrain where one wrong step could be fatal; struggled through sastrugi, ice rubble and emotional lows to achieve an extraordinary goal.

Along the way, she made a sandwich for online trolls, inspired young people, and made international headlines.

At sixteen, Jade Hameister became the youngest person in history to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

Jade is:

*The youngest person to ski from the coast of Antarctica to South Pole unsupported and unassisted

* The first Australian woman in history to ski coast to Pole unsupported and unassisted

* The first woman to set a new route to the South Pole

* The youngest to ski to both Poles

* The youngest to complete the Polar Hat Trick.

 

Brenda’s Review:

What an amazing, inspirational young woman Jade Hameister is! Over a period of three years she completed three goals so achieve the Polar Hat-Trick. In doing so, she became the first in many of her endeavours. Her final journey, in Antarctica to finish at the South Pole, was over late 2017 into 2018 and was the most grueling but not once did she contemplate giving up. The support of her Dad and the other people of the team with her helped her through the worst.

Each trek was unassisted and unsupported, which meant no outside help whatsoever once the journey started. The thrill of forging a new path through the snow and ice to the South Pole meant the hard work and extreme temperatures; the dangers of a hidden crevasse on the mind constantly; the storms and blizzards which meant losing time when the danger was too intense – were all worth it. Jade’s satellite calls to her Mum and brother back in Melbourne, Australia each night were a lifeline as well.

Now she’s trying to settle back into “normal” life with schooling as her main priority. She’s sixteen years of age and has done more in the last three years of her life than most people would ever do. I wonder what she will do next? Highly recommended. 5 stars!

With thanks to Pan Macmillan AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

It’s Ok To Feel The Way You Do – Josh Langley – Award Winner and All-round Nice Guy

smallpubkids_wide

 

Press Release
Josh Langley’s inspiration book It’s OK to Feel The Way You Do was awarded 2018 Small Publisher’s Children’s Book of the Year Award.

Bunbury author, Josh Langley has won the Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA), Small Publisher Children book of the year for ‘It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do’, a powerful and fun book to help children understand their feelings. This is the fourth book in his inspirational children’s series.

What a terrific acknowledgement of a wonderful author and his little books with big messages. Josh’s books have been adopted by parents, children, grandparents and even government departments within Australia and overseas.
In the aftermath of receiving his award Josh was already looking to the future, “I’m excited about the new possibilities for Being You is Enough and It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do and where it’s all going to lead. It also comes at the same time that the Western Australian Education Department agreed to add both books to the Statewide Services and Resources Centre making them available to schools and special programs.” He said.
Head of Big Sky Publishing Children’s division, Diane Evans who worked with author Josh Langley across his much-loved little books with big messages series could not be happier, “As a publisher I love how fresh and unique Josh’s book is. As a parent, I know how powerful his simple messages and illustrations can be in connecting with kids and building self-esteem”.

The Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) is an annual celebration that celebrates the connection between Australian readers and the ‘book makers’ – authors, editors, publishing professionals and retailers, who unite to create the must-read books of the year.

Josh’s new book for Find Your Creative Mojo: How to overcome fear, procrastination and self-doubt to express your true self will be available in September 2018. (Big Sky Publishing).

 

My View:

Josh Langley is a remarkable human being – full of life, supportive, encouraging and talented  (artist, writer, speaker…) and generous. I met Josh at a writers festival a few years ago and have kept in touch by social media (http://www.joshlangley.com.au ) and over the odd cup of coffee.

 

I was thrilled when Josh’s inspirational children book (life lessons here can be applied to humans of all ages) won this ABIA award – the book is gorgeously illustrated, easy to read and brilliantly observed. To say I am a fan is an understatement. I cant wait to read Josh’s new book Finding Your Creative Mojo  (another timely message from the universe I think). Go Josh!

 

Post Script: The Simplest Words A Story Teller’s Journey – Alex Miller

Cover The Simplest Words

The Simplest Words

A Story Teller’s Journey

Alex Miller

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781743313572

 

Description:

A selection of short pieces – both fiction and non-fiction – from one of Australia’s greatest literary treasures.

 

From one of Australia’s greatest novelists comes this fine collection, a storyteller’s journey. These short stories and essays, written over the last forty years, comprise an insightful and intelligent meditation on the life of the novelist and the culture of contemporary Australia. Personal and intimate as many of these pieces are, this collection forms a kind of assured autobiography, of the sort that only Alex Miller could write.

 

Alex Miller’s stories are told with a rare level of wisdom and profundity, engaging the intellect and the emotions simultaneously. Stories are, after all, in his blood.

 

 

My View:

I am very pleased to have made the acquaintance of author Alex Miller. This is my first experience of Alex Miller’s writing and an experience it was! There is so much of Mr Miller’s life and passion in this book you cannot help but be moved by this collection of extracts and observations. The full range of emotional experiences are exposed in the stories of this brilliant wordsmith – admiration, love, a hint of remorse, guilt, awe, passion, reconciliation and sadness (the short story How to Kill Horses devastated me, such a powerful and moving piece, a story that deserves your attention) and lastly an evocation of jealously – I would like to be able to evoke such feeling with my words, to be able to write with such sublime power. If I cannot write like Alex Miller then I would be satisfied to sit in a classroom with Alex Miller as tutor, even for one session – any chance Alex?

 

There is something here for both the reader and the writer in this collection. Alex Miller shares this observation with us “I’ve had great joy from writing novels. But now I need to obey the rule of necessity for change and have taken on a new challenge. This need to take a critical look at what I’ve been doing with my life possibly has something to do with Socrates’s remark that an unexamined life has not been worth living. I have begun to write what I hope can become a celebration of the tragic beauty of Max Blatt’s life and our friendship. The ocean of my ignorance, I soon found, is far deeper and broader than the island of my knowing. In reflecting on my own history I am aware of the paradox that I am going into a largely unknown landscape along a road I have never travelled. It has become clear to me that recollection is itself fiction….” (p263)

 

Further he shares this gem about writing and story (he is reflecting on his story about Journey to the Stone Country and some of the inspiration for characters in it)”…His father, Frank Budby, tell me Graham cherishes the book and his role in it, but it was only after I had written the story that I began to see how central to its theme his character was. We never know what we have written, after all, until our readers tell us to look again. Frank tells me that his son has found his dignity in the book. And I think of the books in which I first found my own dignity.” (p.277)  [Emphasis added by author]

 

This book is a delight to read, a highlight of my reading year.