Release date: 30 March 2012
Available on: Amazon
Published by: MetaPlume
As is characteristic of many short stories by Sue Oaks, the story of twelve year old Toby's loss and acceptance is told within the backdrop of rural Australia. Shortsighted establishes Toby’s world in a small town, his family and his new high school, and takes the reader on a journey as Toby comes to terms with some unexpected and grave news.
As the bus pulled away I sighed with relief. The sun was starting to gather more strength and as we drove past the outskirts of town the orange trees and grapevines seemed to go on forever. Near the town, the countryside was green and lush, but as we got further away from the irrigation areas the paddocks looked dry. The bus was only half full. There was a mum with two little kids squashed into the seat beside her and a baby on her lap. Watching them I though of Mum and all those little kids she looked after. She worked so hard, but we never seemed to have enough money. I felt bad about kicking the kids off the day before.
Shortsighted is best suited to readers in years 5-8 (10-14). It touches on many themes that young readers will relate to such as relationships with parents, settling into high school and resilience.
Reading, Comprehension and Writing activities
The 7000 word short story is presented in nine chapters. An appendix included with the eBook includes at least three reading and comprehension questions per chapter, plus another nine thoughtful exercises for students. In all there are over 1500 words in the Teacher’s Notes section detailing the following exercises:
1. Read, interpret and respond (chapter by chapter activities)
2. Analyse text and support with evidence from the text
4. Analyse how sociocultural attitudes, beliefs and values are presented
5. Research assignment 1
6. Research assignment 2
7. Analyse imagery, characterisation, dialogue, point of view, plot and setting
8. Speaking and listening
9. Extension task suggestions
10. Personal writing topic suggestions
Sue Oaks is a qualified teacher [Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary)]