Trapeze

TREKKERS. GREEN.
Macmillan Education 2005 www.macmillan.com.au
available from shopping cart.
(out of print)
ISBN 0-7329-9940-5
Recommended Readership: 10.5 to 12.5 years.

‘Life is pretty tough for Ritchie at the moment. Mum and Dad have separated, and Dad has moved to Darwin. Ritchie and Mum are now living in a large apartment block. And now Ritchie’s eyes are playing tricks on him. Surely lumps and bumps don’t just appear in the ceiling and then vanish without any explanation? The one good thing in Ritchie’s life at the moment is his new friend, Lilla Winterbottom. Lilla used to be an acrobat who flew from one trapeze to another.’

Opening chapter:

“Bump! BUMP! CRASH!

Ritchie started up in bed. He switched on his reading lamp.

That noise! He was sure that noise came from straight above his head. He sank back and gazed up at the ceiling. To his astonishment he saw a small lump like a blister bulge out of the plaster.

He must be asleep.

This must be a dream.

His rubbed his eyes. His eyelids felt sore, so it didn’t feel like a dream. But when he next looked up, that lump had disappeared. Vanished as quickly as it had come.

Now the plaster above his bed was as smooth as a cricket pitch. All he could see were lines in the paint spreading out like spider-webs. His bed-lamp threw strange shadows on the ceiling. They reminded him of cracks in the pavement. Or the bars on a jungle gym. Or maybe a trapeze – the kind he’d seen acrobats use on TV.

 

REVIEW BY SALLY MURPHY  AUSSIE REVIEWS

Bump! Bump! CRASH!
Ritchie started up in bed. He switched on his reading lamp.
That noise! He was sure that noise came from straight above his head. He sat up and gazed at the ceiling. To his astonishment, he saw a small lump like a blister bulge out of the plaster.
He must be asleep.
This must be a dream.

Ritchie’s life isn’t going well. First his parents separated. Then his dad went to work in Darwin and he and his mum moved into a flat. The only good thing in his life is his new friend Lilla, who used to be an acrobat in a circus.

When strange things seem to be happening on his bedroom ceiling every night, Ritchie thinks he must be dreaming. Could these strange happenings be a turning point amidst all this gloom?

Trapeze is a new title in the Trekkers series from Macmillan Education. Aimed at children with a reading age of around 11 and a half years, it is suitable both for classroom reading and private enjoyment.

Story Inspiration

This story was inspired by a very noisy neighbour who lived directly above me. Her intermittent thumps and bumps were intensely annoying. I spent many nights wondering what could create such a terrible racket? Was she running a printing press? Printing counterfeit money? Or illegal documents? Maybe she was renovating, pulling down walls? More importantly, how could I prevent those thumps and bumps from waking me?

In the middle of the night I would wake and ponder what might happen if something unusual appeared on my ceiling. When I tried to imagine what it could be, a circus came to mind. After many inquiries, I heard that some hard to close windows and balcony doors were responsible for all that noise. Unfortunately, though I love circuses, not a single one ever appeared on my ceiling.

Ritchie’s situation of trying to cope with his parents’ separation is only too common. In some districts more children live in single parent homes than with two parents. I hope that they can receive some inspiration from reading fictional accounts of their own situations.

 

Back to Top ↑