In Australian writer Nick Earls' YA novel, 48 Shades of Brown, Dan decides not to spend his last year in high school with his parents in Switzerland. Instead, he opts to stay in Brisbane with his bass-playing, 22-year-old aunt Jacq and her kooky friend Naomi.
In his performance, Francis Greenslade assumes the voice of Dan with the right mix of vulnerability and teenage indignation as Dan is thrust into the world of young adulthood. Told from his frank point of view, Dan must contend with living with strangers, falling in love, and the nuances of sexuality.
Although the story uses Australian slang, Greenslade's light accent and modulated performance allow non-Australian listeners to easily track Dan's thoughts.
A few months ago, Dan had to make a choice. Go to Geneva with his parents for a year, board at school, or move into a house with his 22-year-old bass-playing aunt, Jacq, and her friend, Naomi. He picked Jacq's place.
Now he's doing his last year at school and trying not to spin out, trying to master calculus, and trying to pick up a few skills for surviving in the adult world. Problem is, he falls for Naomi, and things become much more confusing.
Pointed, sharp and very, very funny, 48 Shades of Brown tells the truth bout being not quite seventeen - a time when everyone offers you advice, and nobody takes you seriously.
©1999 Nick Earls; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"An insightful, appealing, and very funny story about a teenage boy whose world is turned upside down when his father takes a job in Geneva and he chooses to stay in Australia to finish school...Teen boys - and girls - will find much that they can relate to in this coming-of-age story." (School Library Journal)
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