Brigid Lowry was born in New Zealand. She has been a flower child and waitress and a teacher, before settling down to become a writer of short stories, poetry and books for young adults.
Gr 8 Up-This coming-of-age novel set in Australia is peppered with local slang. Bec, the narrator, has a carefree, dashing style, and sprinklings of familiar family dramas, school-lunch gossips, and inevitable crushes on older boys abound. At 15, she must cope with her father's breakdown and gradual recovery, her parents' extended trip abroad, and the "dull and plodding" housekeeper who is put in charge. Flying by the seat of her apricot chiffon skirt, Bec fields her younger siblings' quirks, deals with peer pressure to experiment with drugs and lose her "vees," and experiences the skateboard recklessness of first love. Essentially a well-balanced, bright, and creative girl, she finds too much happening in her life and has trouble coping. Readers will identify with her caution, whimsy, and outrageousness-a fine adolescent mix of good girl and free spirit. Despite Bec's often feeling like a complete "wally," she is very likable and ingenuous. Lowry is also a poet, and she paints lovely splashes of color that transcend and augment the characters' trials and tribulations. An of-the-moment quality permeates this novel, with frequent mentions of current pop bands and fashion fads. Although it may become quickly dated, this one is worth "bunging" onto the shelves as it's a "hell-fun" read.-Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'Follow the blueis one cool book. The characters jump off the page'Fleur Beale, New Zealand Books, October 2002'Lowry is wise and witty'reading for lifeAustralian Centre for Youth Literature