What role did the loblolly boy
historically perform on British Navy ships?
Spratt, Alice-Miranda 4 Alice-Miranda at Sea Jacqueline Harvey ($15.95 pbk); Random/Longacre NZ The Loblolly Boy
and the Sorcerer James Norcliffe (NZ$19.99 pbk)
We are fortunate in this edition, too, to hear from a number of children's book authors as they describe their own approaches to writing and how such characters as Tashi, The Loblolly Boy
, Anna and Zac, Tom and Bilby came to life.
And whatever you do, don't miss Roger Daltrey's scene-stealing turn as a grizzled Loblolly boy
- the name given to old salts turned medical porters.
I guess the story of The Loblolly Boy came from my fooling about with these ideas.
Of course, I was fascinated by what would happen to the newly-minted Loblolly Boy, but what intrigued me almost as much was why, given the wonders of lying and invisibility, would anyone want to give them up?
In this way the reader guesses how the Loblolly Boy of the opening chapter came to be, but not why he wanted so desperately to become human again.
True, you could return to the world of real sensory experience, but only at the cost of condemning someone else to the half-existence of a Loblolly Boy. In itself, this is a wicked thing to do.
I love the fusion of scary bits, funny bits and fantasy bits, and all these came together as I traced the Loblolly Boy's story.
[dagger][dagger] NORCLIFFE, James The Loblolly Boy Longacre, 2009 224pp NZ$19.99 ISBN 9781877460258 SCIS 1415236
But once the reality of being invisible and virtually alone sinks in, the Loblolly Boy begins to understand the living death that it really is--unless he can persuade another to Exchange with him.
James Norcliffe has cheerfully and purposefully chosen to create his own definition of a phrase (Loblolly Boy) that took his fancy, and along with it, a new layer to our world; somehow reminiscent of The Water Babies' and Peter Pan.