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Out of the Shadows (Livewire) [Paperback]

Sue Hines
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 July 2001 Livewire
After her mother's sudden death, Ro now lives with her mother's partner Deb. Ro is convinced that her family is unlike anyone else's and is determined that no one at her new school will get close enough to find out. Then Jodie arrives, with a secret of her own. The two girls are drawn together, but when Jodie's feelings for Ro start to tip into something different, the rules of friendship are stretched to the limit.

Product details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: The Women's Press Ltd (1 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704349752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704349759
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,160,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Out of the Shadows is narrated in alternate chapters by Ro and Jodie, two Australian teenagers. Jodie is new to the small town where Ro lives with her mother's partner Deb, and the two become good friends, sensing a kinship to each other and difference from the other kids at school. Mark, one of the best-looking boys in high school is also firm friends with them, though, despite the school gossip, not going out with either of them. Ro lives with Deb because her mother died recently and her parents are divorced; it is this unusual home set-up that makes her not want to mix too closely with her peers, yet for Jodie it offers a sense of freedom and a shape of what she might want from life. All three teenagers have their own family and personal problems that they work through in the course of the book--for Ro it is only a visit to Sydney that releases her feelings about her mother's and Deb's relationship enough for her to confide in Jodie. And for Mark and Jodie, Sydney offers an opportunity to understand their own sexuality.

Sue Hines has written an ambitious novel for adolescents about feeling comfortable with one's sexual orientation, and successfully gives positive ideas and models for teenagers, whether unhappy gays and lesbians, or heterosexuals who want to understand their friends. The setting and tone is unmistakably Australian, but the themes are universal enough to appeal to any young adults. --Olivia Dickinson

Review

A mature and refreshingly original approach to the issue of sexuality -- Australian Bookseller and Publisher

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
*Out of the Shadows* by Sue Hines
This is a wonderfully well-told story of teenage sexuality and psychology which I highly recommend to parents and teachers of young adolescents. The plain language and narrative style are a godsend for less capable readers particularly, and the narrative agents, Ro and Jodie, are sympathetic and complex personalities, "rounded" characters in the best possible sense. The thematic emphases on anti-homophobia rather than pro-homosexuality, and tolerance of differences rather than their glorification, are a welcome relief, and the novel fills a real gap in the market. Teenagers will certainly be able to relate to the central characters and the schoolyard dynamic depicted. The novel avoids simple stereotyping in an adept and engaging manner. The minor themes of friendship, managing grief, and bullying are also very well-handled.
Cultural contexts are clearly identified and explicated, and all readers will be able to empathise with the primary settings of the novel: the family, school, and the peer group. What I particularly like is the way the text deals with a range of relationships and situations in each of these areas, without privileging one or another. This is not a novel which preaches to the reader, rather, it is a coming of age story which will enrich and enhance the experiences teenagers themselves face as they too come of age. Along with the serious issues highlighted there is a vein of humour which runs through the narrative, and Ro's entries in particular are engagingly self-conscious and ironic.
As a teacher of young migrant and refugee students the first thing which appealed to me was the actual physical spacing of the text (which I hope is retained for the American edition). For N.E.S.B.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A coming of age story told with true sensitivity and style 9 Jan 2000
By Rob Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
*Out of the Shadows* by Sue Hines
This is a wonderfully well-told story of teenage sexuality and psychology which I highly recommend to parents and teachers of young adolescents. The plain language and narrative style are a godsend for less capable readers particularly, and the narrative agents, Ro and Jodie, are sympathetic and complex personalities, 'rounded' characters in the best possible sense. The thematic emphases on anti-homophobia rather than pro-homosexuality, and tolerance of differences rather than their glorification, are a welcome relief, and the novel fills a real gap in the market. Teenagers will certainly be able to relate to the central characters and the schoolyard dynamic depicted. The novel avoids simple stereotyping in an adept and engaging manner. The minor themes of friendship, managing grief, and bullying are also very well-handled.
Cultural contexts are clearly identified and explicated, and all readers will be able to empathise with the primary settings of the novel: the family, school, and the peer group. What I particularly like is the way the text deals with a range of relationships and situations in each of these areas, without privileging one or another. This is not a novel which preaches to the reader, rather, it is a coming of age story which will enrich and enhance the experiences teenagers themselves face as they too come of age. Along with the serious issues highlighted there is a vein of humour which runs through the narrative, and Ro's entries in particular are engagingly self-conscious and ironic.
As a teacher of young migrant and refugee students the first thing which appealed to me was the actual physical spacing of the text (which I hope is retained for the American edition). For N.E.S.B. readers such as ours any text consisting of pages and pages of closely-typed script is a daunting prospect, a deterrent to reading in fact. With *Out of the Shadows* many of our beginning English readers have been encouraged to take on the demands of a 'full-length' novel for the first time. Along with this, the stylistic clarity of the narrative makes it accessible to a variety of student ability levels, and it has been a useful text across a wide range of subject and age groups also. The dual perspectives are sustained effectively throughout the novel and afford an excellent entry point for literary analysis. This narrative scheme also lends itself to partial readings, making it a good resource for lower ability readers at all levels as well. Though emphatically not a didactic or moralising book, it does not shy away from the deeper ramifications of its themes, and is an excellent stimulus for classroom discussion on the issues of adolescent sexuality and psychology, and prevailing social attitudes and taboos. Teachers reluctant to set texts such as *Johnno* or *A Hard God* for their classes will feel much more comfortable teaching to *Out of the Shadows*.
I cannot speak highly enough of this novel. Sue Hines demonstrates a mastery of understatement and allows her characters and their relationships to speak for themselves. There is a freshness and sincerity about this book which I find particularly appealing, and the story is told with vigour and charm in equal portions. I look forward to future instalments from this talented young writer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Parents, Families, and Friends 29 July 2000
By "librarianofthefuture" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am an American mother who dealt with her daughter's coming out in the media when we sued her school district in a civil rights action to allow a gay-straight alliance at her high school. This book touches on the various forms of isolation homosexual teens and adults and their supporters feel. It is not preachy, it is simply a piece of some lives presented in a very real form. It points out the issues and the feelings that everyone involved has, including the doubts of a daughter of a lesbian. It doesn't dwell on the issue, it isn't even revealed to the parties until well into the novel. Instead it talks about the difficulty of hiding major secrets and the pain that causes everyone. This is a good book not just for those who are directly touched by homosexuality, but anyone who tries to keep a secret that's too big. It points out the relief of sharing secrets. It also helps teens understand and perhaps develop compassion for a segment of society condemned for who they love. I recommend it for all young adults, and adults as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Shadows Review 26 April 2000
By Ryan Sebrechts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book deals with two young girls and a ex-lover of one of the young girl's mother. One of the girl tries to find her true sexuality while the other girl tries to express her feeling for her mother's ex-lover, who now keeps care of her after the mother's fatal death. This book is awesomely written by Sue Hines. She takes you straight to where the homosexual first thoughts begin as a teenager. She shows great detail on how society, family and friends feel towards the unpopular way of life. Sue knows how to write about this subject without making any bad remarks or saying anything that would be upsetting to the homosexual community. It is a great book with realistic events. You never know what is going to happen next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More books from Sue Hines please? 15 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved Out of the Shadows, and couldn't put it down. Its characters are entirly sympathetic, and the plot easily holds the reader's attention. I would highly recommend it to anyone, and if I knew any teens it would be on my Christmas present list for them in a second. So would Hines' second book, _The Plunketts_. When's the next one coming out, I want to know?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read about real world issues 29 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found Out of the Shadows a very fine piece of work. It covers real world issues for today's teens. I suggest this book because it brings awareness to what I consider very important issues in society. Excellent job, Sue, and I can't wait to read more of your work!
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