A blog that discusses literature for young people.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"The Legend of Kevin the Plumber" by Scot Gardner


This is the story of teenager Gary Sleep. Gaz lives on the coast in Mullet Head with a strong band of misfit mates. He likes smoking bongs and hates school. Eventually Gaz drops out of school and with the help of his step dad Mario, finds a job as a plumber's assistant. He slowly finds his feet (after a couple of comic mishaps) and eventually loves his job as sidekick to big Kev. Through the confidence that Gaz builds in his job he is able to resolve some family relationships - particularly the ongoing feud he has with his grandfather; and make the right choice between his romantic options - a good female friend verses the 13 yr old who has a crush on him.

I think Gardner writes teenage realism superbly. This is a gritty, coming-of-age story, told in a contemporary Australian voice. Being that Gardner’s other job is as a youth worker, I imagine that he gains much of his inspiration from real-life Gary Sleep’s. I think this book holds great appeal for reluctant readers who believe books are all set in a world that is foreign to them. It should appeal especially to teenage boys with all its swearing and talk of dicks and farting. I found it an enjoyable read with some genuinely funny interludes.

On his website, Gardner says, “If The Legend of Kevin the Plumber has a message, it’s about heart. Finding heart in yourself in the face of adversity. Finding heart in the work you do and the people you meet. Fixing broken hearts.”

Click here to visit Scot Gardner's website

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