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Cover image courtesy of UQP.
y separately published work icon The Simple Gift single work   novel   young adult  
Issue Details: First known date: 2000... 2000 The Simple Gift
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train resident, "Old Bill," who slowly reveals a tragic past. When Billy is given a gift that changes everything, he learns not only to how forge his own path in life, but the real meaning of family.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Simon & Schuster ed.)

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teaching resources via publisher's website.

Notes

  • A novel in verse form.
  • Also available as a sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: The Simple Gift : A Novel
    • St Lucia, Indooroopilly - St Lucia area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,: University of Queensland Press , 2000 .
      image of person or book cover 9002289844936530750.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of UQP.
      Extent: 205p.
      Description: illus. (photographs).
      Note/s:
      • A UQP Young Adult Fiction book
      ISBN: 0702231339 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Simon and Schuster ,
      2004 .
      image of person or book cover 6847269560435735129.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 188p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Imprint: Simon Pulse.

      ISBN: 9780689868672, 0689868677
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Egmont ,
      2004 .
      image of person or book cover 6219297831666392176.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 204p.p.
      ISBN: 9781405208543, 1405208546
Alternative title: Wir beide wussten, es war was passiert
Language: German
    • Stuttgart,
      c
      Germany,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Thienemann-Esslinger ,
      2016 .
      image of person or book cover 6741372946276878246.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      ISBN: 9783522202190

Works about this Work

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick Jo Antareau , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Buzz Words , February 2014;

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
Review : The Simple Gift Emily Darling , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , March 2014; (p. 72)

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
Home away from Home : Secret Gardens in Steven Herrick's 'The Simple Gift' Wendy Michaels , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antípodas , no. 15 2004; (p. 173-188)
Home Away from Home : The Place of Home in Stephen Herrick's Verse Novel, A Simple Gift Wendy Michaels , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , April vol. 13 no. 1 2003; (p. 33-42)
Fictional Fathers : Gender Representation in Children's Fiction Wendy Michaels , Donna Gibbs , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , December vol. 12 no. 3 2002; (p. 35-45)

Wendy Michaels and Donna Gibbs analyse several Australian children's texts regarding the 'pattern and trends in relation to the representation of father and father-figures' (37). They believe it is crucial for young adult readers to develop a critical awareness of 'the subtle processes at work in the fiction they are reading' because of the significance textual representation plays in the construction of child-adolescent identity (42-43). The discussion refers to previous studies concerning the construction of masculinity and femininity and the role of children's fiction as a socialising agent regarding appropriate gender roles providing a framework for the interrogation of textual constructions and representations of the father/child relationship. A close reading of Dogs and The Simple Gift precedes a shorter discussion of the novels Touch Me, Thursday's Child, Wolf on the Fold and Fighting Ruben Wolf, and leads Michaels and Gibbs to contend that none of the fathers in the stories are portayed as having a strong relationship with their children and they draw an interesting parallel to the roles ascribed to wicked step-mothers, arguing that currently, young adult readers are presented with models of masculine behaviour that reinforce cultural stereotypes of fathers as essentially ineffectual or morally bankrupt - or both (42). Effective parenting is often directed at surrogate children rather than biological children while it is the serious flaws and shortcomings of the father-child relationship that are of central concern in the novels discussed (40).

[Review] The Simple Gift Elspeth Cameron , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 44 no. 4 2000; (p. 14)

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
[Review] The Simple Gift Anne Briggs , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , July vol. 15 no. 3 2000; (p. 30)

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
[Review] The Simple Gift Matthew Wood , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 14 no. 2 2000; (p. 31)

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
Paperbacks Debra Adelaide , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29 July 2000; (p. 10)

— Review of The Office as a Boat : A Chronicle Moya Costello , 2000 single work novel ; The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
CoverNotes Michelle Griffin , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 9 July 2000; (p. 11)

— Review of The Simple Gift Steven Herrick , 2000 single work novel
The Children's Book Council of Australia Annual Awards 2001 2001 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , August vol. 45 no. 3 2001; (p. 2-12)
Fictional Fathers : Gender Representation in Children's Fiction Wendy Michaels , Donna Gibbs , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , December vol. 12 no. 3 2002; (p. 35-45)

Wendy Michaels and Donna Gibbs analyse several Australian children's texts regarding the 'pattern and trends in relation to the representation of father and father-figures' (37). They believe it is crucial for young adult readers to develop a critical awareness of 'the subtle processes at work in the fiction they are reading' because of the significance textual representation plays in the construction of child-adolescent identity (42-43). The discussion refers to previous studies concerning the construction of masculinity and femininity and the role of children's fiction as a socialising agent regarding appropriate gender roles providing a framework for the interrogation of textual constructions and representations of the father/child relationship. A close reading of Dogs and The Simple Gift precedes a shorter discussion of the novels Touch Me, Thursday's Child, Wolf on the Fold and Fighting Ruben Wolf, and leads Michaels and Gibbs to contend that none of the fathers in the stories are portayed as having a strong relationship with their children and they draw an interesting parallel to the roles ascribed to wicked step-mothers, arguing that currently, young adult readers are presented with models of masculine behaviour that reinforce cultural stereotypes of fathers as essentially ineffectual or morally bankrupt - or both (42). Effective parenting is often directed at surrogate children rather than biological children while it is the serious flaws and shortcomings of the father-child relationship that are of central concern in the novels discussed (40).

Home Away from Home : The Place of Home in Stephen Herrick's Verse Novel, A Simple Gift Wendy Michaels , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , April vol. 13 no. 1 2003; (p. 33-42)
Home away from Home : Secret Gardens in Steven Herrick's 'The Simple Gift' Wendy Michaels , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antípodas , no. 15 2004; (p. 173-188)
A Simple Poetic Gift : An Interview with Steven Herrick Jeri Kroll , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Autumn vol. 9 no. 1 2001; (p. 24)
Last amended 21 Nov 2017 15:57:10
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