Kalpana's Dream by Judith Clarke
(Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors (Awards))

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Neema's and Kate's first day of Wentworth High begins poorly but gets much worse when they find out that their English teacher, the pale Ms. Dallimore, is notorious for challenging essay assignments. Ms. Dallimore assigns an essay with the topic "Who am I?" and gives class 7B a whole six weeks to think and write. Everyone calls Ms. Dallimore the Bride of Dracula. She wants her students to think, and imagine and "learn to fly!" As time passes the cleverest girl in the class is reduced to tears; football jock Blocky Stevenson discovers the pleasure of self examination for the first time and writes "I am a person with feelings"; Kate is sure she is a girl who hates her sister; while school custodian/dictator Mrs. Draynor is sufficiently moved by a student's discarded attempt at the essay to reflect on her own past. For Neema, the extended stay of her Indian great grandmother, Kalpana, complicated the question. Nani has been dreaming of flying: skimming faster and faster, just above the ground. And now she's ready to leave her village in India to visit her family in Australia. At first, things are awkward between Neema and Kalpana. Kalpana doesn't speak English and Neema doesn't speak Hindi, but when they meet "the flying boy", Gull Oliver, they both find something they've been looking for.

About Judith Clarke

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Judith Clarke was born in Sydney, Australia, and lives in Melbourne. She is the author of many award-winning books for young adults, including Kalpanas Dream, Wolf on the Fold, Night Train, and Friend of My Heart. The best job I ever had, says Judith, was as a tea-lady in a Sydney radio station. The worst was as governess/minder/parole officer of two teenagers whose parents had gone away (escaped?) for the long summer holidays. I never made a conscious decision to be a writer; I never saw it as a profession or career. Writing was something I began doing when I was a child in the western suburbs of Sydney in the 1950s All of the kids in my neighborhood were boys, and though they let my sister and I play with them, they pinched our marbles and comics and bashed us up. Writing stories was less dangerous. AWARDS Kalpana's Dream (Front Street, 2004) Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book in Fiction and Poetry Wolf on the Fold (Front Street, 2002) Children's Books of the Year Awards Winner-Children's Book Council of Australia Night Train (Holt, 2000) Children's Books of the Year Awards Honor, Older Readers Children's Book Council of Australia Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Winner, Young Adult Fiction-State Library of Victoria, Australia
Published January 1, 2004 by Allen & Unwin. 180 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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When Neema’s Indian great-grandmother Kalpana comes to visit her in Australia, she brings with her a dream of flying just a few inches above the ground.

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