The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley

(who planned to live an unusual life)

Martine Murray
AUD $15.99
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A funny, tender and wise story about nearly-13-year-old Cedar B. Hartley - 'exasperating and potentially infamous' - who loses her dog, finds a new friend, becomes an acrobat, and learns some bitter-sweet truths about family, community and herself. A captivating debut novel by a distinctive new writer.

Cedar hangs out on the edges of the neighbourhood social circuit with Stinky, her dog and best friend. Things start to change when she meets a boy called Kite and finds they have a lot in common - both have single parents, both are loners with colourful inner lives, both like beanies, dogs and acrobatics. Together they form a circus troupe and put on a dazzling performance that helps to unite their inner-city community. Along the way, Cedar gains some understanding of her missing brother, her hard-working mother, her less-than-perfect father - and herself.

More reviews:

'vibrates with authenticity', School Library Journal, USA

'Cedar's witty, wry voice will seduce even the most cynical', Bulletin with Newsweek

Author bio:

Martine Murray is a new, young author/illustrator. Born in Melbourne, she has travelled widely and now lives in East Brunswick. She says she has been a student for much longer than one should be, studying painting at the Victorian College of the Arts, filmmaking, dance and dance therapy, and writing. She teaches yoga and circus skills, makes dance theatre and writes stories. She likes dancing, walking and hanging upside-down on things.

Martine is the author and illustrator of A Moose Called Mouse (Allen + Unwin) and author of A Dog Called Bear (Random House).

Category: Children's fiction
ISBN: 9781865086231
Awards: Short-listed Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Book 2003 AU; Short-listed NSW Premier's Literary Award 2003 AU; Short-listed CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2003 2003 AU
Table Of Contents: From the author:

I think this book is mainly about belonging. More specifically, it's about belonging exactly as you are, without having to tone down or change your colour in order to blend in. It's about learning to believe enough in you own uniqueness to let it shine out. And it's about the trouble we sometimes have to go to if there isn't a perfectly-shaped spot for us to fit into (and shine out from). I hope it encourages people to carve out that spot instead of carving some of themselves away (or dulling their own light) in order to fit into the small spots that are already there. I think Cedar learns how to carve out her spot, and in doing that she creates a special community of friends and family who can link their shining selves in support of each other.

I think it is also about friendship and family. Close relationships can be so very complicated. This book is about those complications. I see them as being the curly threads that we struggle to unravel. Whether w
Publisher: A&U Children's
Imprint: A & U Children
Pub Date: February 2002
Page Extent: 228
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 10 - 13
Subject: Children's fiction