Born in Kempsey, New South Wales, Robin Klein has now had more than forty books published. Many have been shortlisted for the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award, including People Might Hear You (1984), Seeing Things (1984), Hating Alison Ashley (1985), Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left (1986).
Gr 5-7 Sixth-grader Erica Yurkin, a.k.a. Erk, Yuk and Gherkin, knows that she will change her name once she leaves disadvantaged Barringa East Primary School and becomes an actress. She has always felt superior to everyone in her schooluntil redistricting brings beautiful, perfect and self-assured Alison Ashley to the sixth grade. Erica hates her from the very first. A series of events makes her realize that, although Alison has material things, her mother is never there for her, while Erica has the love and devotion of her family. The two become friends. Although peppered with Australian slang, Hating Alison Ashley is a solid school story with characters and situations to which American readers will relate. Lucy Marx, Louisville Free Public Library, Ky.