Title: What Zola did on Wednesday
Author: Melina Marchetta, illustrated by Deb Hudson
Published: 29th September 2020
Synopsis: From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble! Like on Wednesday, when Zola has a plan to help find her friend Sophia’s missing turtle . . .Collect all seven stories in the series. One for every day of the week.
Zola is always trying to keep out of trouble – so far, Mondays and Tuesdays are busy with community activities, but she has five other days to fill! Today though, her friend Sophia has lost her pet turtle. Zola and her cousin decide to use their dogs to help find the turtle, like PD Vesper. Surely nothing can go wrong?
Zola’s diverse world on Boomerang Street expands in this book as she runs down the street after her cousin’s dog Gigi. This vibrant world shows kids that everyone is different, and that these differences are everywhere. This powerful and lovely message is what we need these days – showing that kids in all colours and sizes are valid and beautiful, in this lovely and heartfelt diverse series that shows it is the content of your character that is just as important as how you identify, and that together, these aspects make you who you are.
In Zola’s quest to find Sophia’s turtle, she inevitably causes more trouble – which will almost lead to a crisis, but Zola’s neighbours find a way to resolve it and create a Wednesday activity for the community.
This is the third book in the series that celebrates diversity, family, dogs, knitting and gardens, and how these simple things can bring a community together. These are stories that can be read to younger readers, or read alone, or used to help younger readers build their reading and comprehension confidence. It shows that caring about your community will eventually extend to helping and caring about the wider world. It takes complex themes and issues and makes them easy to understand, and universal for all kids and readers. Anyone can do what Zola and her friends do!
Good literature like this celebrates diversity, and how people’s differences are powerful and important, and these differences are what make life interesting and can also bring people together and unite them as a community. A great read for readers aged six and over.