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Kids Fiction 29827
Saving the Red Barge
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
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Reader reviewed by Mud

A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove is a story about a boy with a broken family and a barge that makes him a hero. This book is a good kids book with a lot of mixed emotions, heartache and heroism. Suitable for the ages 9 to 15. The theme of the book is even though you think people don’t love you, someone does.

It all starts with Carl Matt’s mother, Kerry Matt running away. Her sister sells the house they were currently living in and planned a trip overseas, never to return. This leaves Carl and his brother Harley to go to Wattle Beach to live with their Aunt Beryl (who absolutely hates children).
While exploring Wattle Beach, he set eyes on a girl named Maddie Duncan in a blue bikini looking very attractive. When holidays finish he is set to go to school. The first day on the bus he realised that the new kids have to sit at the front of the bus and not with the “cool” kids.
When he gets home his Aunt says that he has to leave school and get a job.
After a lot of anticipation and asking for work, he comes out of a shop and runs into a lady and knocks her stuff out of her hands. He then goes with the lady and helps make a cage for an osprey with a broken wing. Joy Duncan then offers him a job on his husband’s barge. Everything was great until he told them his name.
It all stated before he was born, his Grandfather didn’t like Skip. Skip was out fishing with his son Graham. His Grandfather, Dessie Matt went out and ran into Skip and hurt his leg and killed his son.
Carl begged for the job and he insisted that they try him out for one week then see if they still want him. The first day they didn’t get many cars. Carl started to wave to the cars and they came aboard the red barge. The end of the week came and they had received more money then they ever had before Skip injured his leg.
They keep him on the barge and he gets a lot of cars. Harley got into a fight school and got suspended. When Beryl finds out, she first chained Harley’s bike up and he got away, then because he got away, while Carl was at work, washing down cars, Beryl chained Harley up. When Carl arrived home from work, Beryl was at the Bowls Club and he found that Harley was chained up. He went down to the Bowls Club and told Aunt Beryl that she didn’t have the right to chain up Harley and to give him the keys so he could unchain him.

The next day at work, Carl told Skip and Joy what happened and asked why everyone hated the Matt family so much. Joy told Carl what happened to Skip but not their son. One day Harley went over to Joy’s house and together they made a cake and Harley made Carl have the first piece. The next day Joy came and asked Carl whether Harley would like to come to their house and live. When Carl goes home, he asked Harley and he started shoving all his gear into his knapsack as fast as he could. There was just one problem, getting past Beryl. Carl finally convinced her by telling her that she would still be able to get Harley’ social security money.

While this is happening, Maddie ignores Carl every time he goes over to Joy and Skip’s. Harley is happy living in the Duncan household and is in less trouble. Beryl’s boyfriend Bruce offers Carl a job but he turns it down because he loves the barge too much. Beryl gets up him for turning it down and is so depressed because she thinks he is going to dump her.

Carl is giving all of his income to Beryl to spend on the pokies and alcoholic beverages.

Finally Carl becomes friends with Maddie and really good friends with Justine (her friend). Maddie and Nathan, (her boyfriend) brake up. They let the osprey go, and Justine held a pizza part where Nathan and Maddie were about to leave when Carl stepped in front of the door they were going out of and got up Nathan. After that they watched a movie.

Carl then finds out about his mother. She was killed in a bus accident when she was returning to see him and Harley. He tried to be tough but in the end, he couldn’t hold it in any longer.

Someone sets of f the red barge, someone shoots out the Wattle Lady’s windows out, Wattle Lady builds a rinsing machine, Skip and Joy decide to sell the red barge because they are building a bridge from Wattle Beach to Wiseman’s Cove. Carl finds out about their son from Beryl.

Beryl moves away with Bruce just like all the Matt family and he was about to do the same. He got all his belongings and when he was about to leave, he realises that is he is going to be happy anywhere, it is Wattle Beach. Carl finally moves in with Skip and Carl and they are happy as Larry.

Main Characters
Carl: is the main character, 15 ears old, embarrassed all the time, worried, easy going
Harley: mischief, good inside, bored 10 years old
Joy: Caring, loving, easy going, understanding
Skip: grumpy at first, but then nice
Justine: loving, caring, easy going
Maddie: snobbish at first, caring, loving
Kerry: loving mother, unthoughtful
Beryl: mean, jealous, doesn’t look after kids properly.
Bruce: mean as well, not caring, not well mannered.

My favourite part of the book is when Carl gets with Justine. The style on language used is very good. The book is set on the beach the most but in Wattle Beach and Wiseman’s Cove.
The Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove is a book with lots of family problems and is very emotional. Some parts are happy and some are very sad. The way the author has put this book together is very clever. Just as one problem ends, another begins. Overall I give this book, out of five stars, a four and one half.

By Hayley Moore

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