The most common question I’ve been asked since Intruder came out is what age group is it for?
I struggle with this question because I read a lot of YA fiction myself (despite being well outside the demographic). And I’ve always thrown my own bookshelves open to our kids, figuring that anything that was genuinely too old for them would defeat them or go over their heads.
Choosing what to read is one of the incandescent pleasures of the book lover. And it is one that we deny children to their peril.
Restricting what children read is fraught, particularly in their final year of primary school when so many readers are at their most voracious, poised on the cusp of adolescence, and reaching for a greater understanding of the world that is opening up to them.
I vividly remember my own desire as a child to read books denied to me by virtue of my years. And the truth is that I read them anyway, often perplexed at what the fuss was about.
As an adult, I write layered texts that can be read and appreciated at different levels and ages. If pressed, I might recommend Intruder for anyone aged between 12 and 112, as I know that for different reasons, the story will resonate and appeal across that age range.
‘Intruder is a story that will be adored by those on the transition between childhood and adolescence. It has just enough suspense to keep turning the page, but not enough to terrify; its characters are diverse, realistic, memorable and recognizable and show that we all need a little bit of everyone to enrich our lives….this story would have great value as a small-group read, perhaps as a book club, where readers can discuss its layers, explore the what-ifs, and perhaps not only gain some insight into the tunnel-vision of the age group, but perhaps develop some safety strategies as well.’ Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, Cooma [click here for full review].
It was a pleasure catching up with so many teachers and librarians at Random House’s Meet-the-Authors do at the Book Garden in Brisbane this week – thank you to all those who were able to come.
Also, Teachers Resources for Intruder are now available on the Random House Website.
Just click on the link below and it will transport you directly to a veritable corncucopia of useful classroom activities.