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Sunshine on Vinegar Street

By Karen Comer
Reviewed by Sarah Custance
Karen Comer is a Melbourne author who runs writing workshops for both children and adults. Both her debut YA novel Grace Notes and her latest middle-grade novel Sunshine on Vinegar Street are written as verse novels.
Freya used to have it all, two houses that she loved, both parents around that loved her and were always there for her and her two best friends and basketball buddies. Now that her dad is moving for work and her mum has a better job offer, all of that has changed. She’s starting year 6 in a new town with no friends, a basketballer stuck in a classroom full of netball girls.
When Freya does meet her fellow basketball teammates, she quickly realises that being the new girl means that she is now competition for the best spots on the team and that comes with a lot of resentment. With her life turned upside down, will Freya be able to find her place in this new world or will she remain stuck in place?
Written as a verse novel, Sunshine on Vinegar Street deals with change, different family structures, the struggles of fitting in and making new friends, facing fears, and the value and importance of working as a team. Comer does a great job pulling the reader into the story  as within the first few pages you find yourself outraged on Freya’s behalf and needing to know what happens next. Sunshine on Vinegar Street is an engaging and swift read that is all about adapting to the new and finding the courage to put yourself out there and do the right things.
Allen & Unwin 2023
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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