Thebo, Mimi Wipe Out

ISBN 13: 9780007142767

Wipe Out

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9780007142767: Wipe Out

A first children’s title from a prize-winning poet and author of adult books. A novel exploring a young boy’s grief, set against a colourful background of surfing.

Eleven-year-old Billy's mother has just died. Billy's father isn't coping too well so Billy goes to stay with his dull Auntie Mary. The death of his mother has taken all the colour away from Billy's world. He sees his Auntie Mary as a grey person, whose dull blue house is shrouded in fog. Billy feels foggy and dull, too, and longs for the colour to return to his life. His mother was a well-known surfer – Kitten Brown – and the author has woven into this novel the buzzing vibes of the surfing world. Waves, movement, colour, VW combis, Cornwall, surfing songs – described through Billy's dreams as he sleeps away his grief. For though Billy's mother is dead, her joyful personality pervades the whole story as Billy, Auntie Mary and Billy's dad all attempt to deal with their grief. The author confronts the themes of loss and change in a most vibrant and original way. Her writing is sensual – colour, taste, smell, touch and sound all leap from the page. She shows how different people handle loss and change differently, and how they learn to relate to each other in new ways.

The author's writing style is simple, sparse yet poetic, reminiscent of David Almond and Berlie Doherty.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

When I started writing in Billy's voice, he seemed very real to me. I felt like I was eleven again, and surfing with Billy and Kitten in their combi van. It's been almost two years since I first wrote this story but I still cry every time I read the last page and Billy's family are still 'alive' for me. I could easily tell you what Billy's Dad, Auntie Mary, Mark, David, Auntie Helen (and even Gio the painter and decorator) are doing today. For me, that's what really makes a story I want to keep working with - when even I believe the characters are actual people!

From the Back Cover:

'I can feel the shingle under my boots,
feel it hard and shifting.
I can hear my breathing.
I can feel the wind moving my hair around.
I lick my lips and taste the salt.

"My mum is riding the rainbow, cutting back and forth across the face, really pounding her rails…she stops and looks back at me, and although the colour keeps on flowing, her board is steady. I can see her face, can see the way she always looked at me. It's like she's asking me a question…"

Billy is dreaming. He's dreaming of his mother, Kitten Brown, Champion Surfer. She was bright, bold and beautiful…and she filled Billy's life with all the colours of the rainbow. After her death, Billy goes to stay with his grey Auntie Mary, in her bleak house that seems permanently shrouded in fog. The colour has gone from Billy's world but his dreams of his Mum get more and more vivid. Billy desperately needs colour in his life, but Dad's too locked into his own grief to help and Auntie Mary is far too dull. So Billy must take action of his own. With the help of Mark, an Australian with a taste for adventure and a bunch of colourful characters, Billy sets about livening up Auntie Mary and then her house…with dramatic results! Billy gradually begins to come to terms with his own loss and in so doing brightens the lives of everyone around him.

A wonderful first children's novel from Mimi Thebo, in which colour, taste, smell, touch and sound leap from every page in a story that ultimately balances grief and joy, life and death.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Thebo, Mimi
Published by Collins (2003)
ISBN 10: 0007142765 ISBN 13: 9780007142767
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Thebo, Mimi
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