MUCCI, Kiara (illus.) Matt Lumb (text) Hope University of Newcastle, 2013 unpaged $19.95 ISBN 9780987327604 SCIS 1636530

This is a futuristic picture book where at a certain age children get to wear Jetpacks and zoom all around like the adults.  Hope has a heavy backpack as well as a heavy heart.  There are hints that she and her younger brother Leo are alone as she seems to be caring for him and the backpack she wears used to belong to her mother.  The children in Hope’s class are very excited about having permission to explore the contents of their backpacks for homework on the eve of Jetpack Day.  In an act of frustration, Hope empties her backpack onto the classroom floor ahead of time and a sympathetic teacher guides her to the realisation that reading is where she feels safe and strong and happy.

The illustrations support and extend the text and the dream sequences flow beautifully across the pages.  Suited to five year olds and over.  JL

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