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Friday, 6 March 2020

Review: Better Than Sliced Bread

Award-winning author Clancy Tucker is never one to shy away from controversial or confronting social issues. Nowhere in his work is it as obvious as in his sequel to Kick-Ass Tyler - Better Than Sliced Bread. 

It is Sam’s voice that becomes the conduit for Tucker’s humanitarian beliefs and which produces the exceptional dialogue that drives the story. 

When we first met Sam, she was prickly, rough and hard to get close to, carrying a burden of grief from the loss of her beloved dad.

In Better than Sliced Bread, we meet a new Sam. Almost seventeen, she is mature, focused, a leader, and a doer, whose goal is to study law.

Earning a black belt in karate, and elected as School Captain, she is determined to be a role model to all the strugglers in her school, and the person who makes things happen.

She is also a powerhouse of inspiration and motivation for people that believed had no place in the Australian landscape and others that had no self esteem. Her character encourages young people regardless of gender, to aspire to greater things fearlessly, with initiative, confidence and self esteem.

But life will test her strength and courage when she is attacked by a competitor in the Seaspray Surf Challenge. Then she is diagnosed with a brain tumour. It will take all her positive power and belief to see her through difficult challenges. She does not battle the complex treatments alone, for her support group is made up of family, Somali refugees, a disabled champion swimmer, and a ward full of children suffering cancer who she has befriended. And then there is Mick, the farmer she meets that changes her life.

Tucker has covered a lot of ground in this book. There is an intricate weaving of stories and situations that combine the many interests that Sam’s character has decided she can do something about.

Countless themes enter and exit this inspiring novel. There is the issue of kindness and community spirit that is a main vein.  Tucker addresses the drought and its needs, equality for the disabled, youth suicide, refugees, cultural diversity, climate change, Indigenous rights, detention centres, homelessness, children living in poverty and so much more.  How did Tucker fit all this into one novel? He has an authenticity that is reflected in his writing. He weaves one story through another, until all of them are linked in a chain of excellent writing of passionate views.

Title: Better Than Sliced Bread
Author: Clancy Tucker
Publisher: Morris Publishing, $45.00
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780994601032
For ages: 12+
Type: Young Adult Fiction


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