By: Steven Herrick
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: May 2014
ISBN: 9780702250163


A new, laugh-out-loud novel from award-winning author Steven Herrick.

Some things are too big for a boy to solve.

Jesse is an eleven-year-old boy tackling many problems in life, especially fitting in to a new school. Luckily he meets Kate. She has curly black hair, braces and an infectious smile. She wants to ‘Save the Whales’ and needs Jesse’s help. But they haven’t counted on Hunter, the school bully, who appears to enjoy hurling insults at random.

With Hunter’s catchphrase ‘Ha!’ echoing through the school, something or someone has to give. But will it be Jesse? Kate? Or is there more to Hunter than everyone thinks?

An inspiring and funny story about the small gestures that can help to make the world a better place.


Steven Herrick has produced another inspiring story about the small things in life that can change the world both globally and locally.

Our protagonist, Jesse, has moved to a small inclusive community school set on a nature reserve where all teachers are known by their first names, the buildings all have names and the staff elect a new principal from their ranks each term.

Jesse tackles the normal problems of friendship and fitting in, but this is made worse by the constant ribbing he receives from the aggressive Hunter.

Some chapters are told through Hunter’s eyes and we slowly gain a better understanding of why Hunter is the way he is and his aggression slowly dissolves through the story as he and Jesse gain a better understanding of each other.

The story also touches on family and relationships at the local level, and religion and the environment at an international level.

It is full of humour and is insightful enough to make it a wonderful group discussion novel for Grade 5 and 6 students.

This title was included in our May 2014 Primary Fiction Standing Order selection.

Reviewed by Rob