If there is one book you should encourage your child to read this year it should be KY!. If there is one book every adult should read this year it is also KY!. This beautifully written heart warming story of a young Muslim refugee and her journey to find acceptance leaves you with hope in your heart. Hope that all who read this story will find it in their hearts to accept others with open arms. The strength within KY! has the ability to change the thoughts and actions of the next generation of adults, creating a world of compassion, understanding and cultural acceptance.
From the back of the book:
Rida Khalid is a Muslim refugee from Iran. She is bullied by two girls at school for wearing a hijab ( Muslim headscarf), reading books and wearing glasses, and seeks refuge in an old man’s garden after school. Rida meets an Asian girl at school, Ky, who also loves books, and Rida soon dumps her for a gawky girl, Carmen, who teaches her about fitting in. To be accepted, Rida removes her hijab at school, but she must wear her headscarf whilst competing in the inter-school sports. Her family will attend.
Rida deliberately loses the first race because Carmen says “ Only nerds do well in sports.” The sports master berates Rida for losing the race and points to Ky who’s made an extraordinary effort to get out of hospital to watch her run. Ky is battling leukaemia. Rida wins the next two races and gives her winning ribbons to Ky for good luck.
Rida enters the State Athletics Championships, but two athletics clubs lodge an objection to her hijab. Rida is shocked when a retired Queens Counsel (QC) represents her at the Equal Opportunity Commission. Who is he? Will Rida win the case? Will she run in the State Championship? Will Ky beat leukaemia, and who owns the garden that Rida used as a sanctuary?
The back blurb of KY! does not do it justice. In only 95 pages Clancy Tucker says so much. Within Rida he has created a young girl who is an inspiration and a great role model for children worldwide. Finding yourself in a new country would not be easy but Rida takes it all in her stride. From the detention centre to integration into Australian society, Rida embraces life and learning using Banjo Patterson’s The Man from Snowy River to drive her forward.
KY! is a book that needs to become part of every school curriculum. The topical issues covered are those which are raw within society. With terrorism becoming the ‘norm’ within our news, and the Muslim culture and their right to wear a hijab continuing to be an issue of debate, KY! opens discussion in a non threatening and heart warming manner. KY! by Clancy Tucker does not judge it educates.
Then their are the other topics within. When Rida finds Ky has leukaemia her compassion and care for her new friend, who she really hardly knows, is heartwarming. Rida sets about to learn as much about her friends disease as she can. She writes to her friend and visits her in hospital whenever she can. She uses positive words to share love and healing, creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Acceptance of who we are and others as individuals runs through Rida, leaving a message that the reader will carry with them throughout life.
Poetry runs through my blood. For myself it is a little piece of Australian history that often gets forgotten. Clancy Tucker has won my heart with his use of The Man from Snowy River by Banjo Patterson. He has managed to interweave it into a children’s novel with ease and grace. It touched my heart to see a piece of bush poetry, a piece of Australian history, used in such a beautiful story full of mateship and compassion; the Australian way of life.
On an educational level KY! opens the door for discussion and further learning that will only enrich the life of children. KY! opens a whole new literary world. After reading KY! children will only want to know more about the Muslim and Asian cultures, they will want to know more about leukaemia, they will think twice before they bully and react to those who bully on a new level. Most of all they will find belief in themselves and love and compassion for all around them.
As a writer Clancy Tucker continues to grow in strength. When I pick up a Clancy Tucker novel I can be sure of one thing, that the housework will be forgotten and that the emotions will be flowing. Thank you Clancy Tucker for enriching the literary world.
Available as a signed paperback with matching bookmark and as an e-book from www.clancytucker.com.au
review: Jennifer Douglaswww.jenniferdouglasliterarypublicist.com