'When Nathanial and his mother move to the quiet, safe streets of Cheshunt, he immediately senses something wrong. Violent gangs patrol the streets, feral dogs roam at night, and the oppressive stench from the abattoir lingers over the school.
'Soon Nathanial learns that his presence is no accident. As he uncovers the dark secrets of Cheshunt's past, and event spiral desperately out of control, he and his new friends must confront phantoms from their past in the battle to stop the Gathering and its terrifying creator.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Penguin website).
Unit Suitable For AC: Year 9 (NSW Stage 5). Advanced Year 8 students could also engage well with this text.
family, good and evil, the impact of the past upon the present, violence
Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Literacy, Personal and social
Received Screen Australia funding for a book-to-film adaptation.(Source : Books + Publishing News 22 November 2018)
'My postgraduate student frowned. ‘The Gathering? Isn’t that the one where someone sets a dog on fire?’ Spoiler alert: indeed it is. It is the book’s most memorable scene; it is certainly the most horrific. My postgrad had read Isobelle Carmody’s 1993 novel in high school and that was the first memory of it which surfaced. The scene shocked readers and alienated many: ‘I re-read the novel recently but I skipped that chapter’ wrote one online reviewer.' (Introduction)