Australia Day 2016

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Australia Day 2016

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Source: Australia Day 2016

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Australia Day 2016

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Live Peace by Margaret Reeson

Source: Live Peace by Margaret Reeson

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Live Peace by Margaret Reeson

 

Live Peace: Joy Balazo and Young Ambassadors for Peace by Margaret Reeson

(Acorn Press, 2015)

Author’s Blurb

As an experienced worker for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Joy Balazo was troubled by the many examples of conflict she was observing. In 2001, she devised a practical model of workshops and networks to sow ‘seeds of peace’ among young people living on opposite sides of conflict. This was named Young Ambassadors for Peace. Joy has used this model in many context As an experienced worker for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Joy Balazo was troubled by the many examples of conflict she was observing. In 2001, she devised a practical model of workshops and networks to sow ‘seeds of peace’ among young people living on opposite sides of conflict. This was named Young Ambassadors for Peace. Joy has used this model in many contexts, including Asian cities and Pacific islands, to help hundreds of people work for peace in their own broken communities.

Review by Hazel Barker

Live Peace by Margaret Reeson, is an excellent account of Joy Balazo and her attempts to foster peace by establishing the Young Ambassadors for Peace Programme. Her work in Papua New Guinea is the start of her journey to improve co-operation between churches and to bring about reconciliation between the opposing factions within the country. (Page 72)

The simple tactics used in the workshops surprised me, and the success, unexpected. It was backed, however, by those behind the scenes, and above all, by the grace of God. (Page 106)

The lessons learned by the work are to be commended, but the protagonist’s actions, although praise-worthy, were repetitive and not conducive to enticing the reader to read on. I think this is mostly because the writing style is not consistent. Had the story remained in the Active Voice, like that on pages 74, 77, 90 and 91, the book would have more appeal to a wider audience.

Despite this, I recommend Live Peace for its valuable content, and for introducing readers to the extraordinary life of a brave soul.

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Review of Surfacing, 2015

SurfacingAuthor’s Blurb

Isobel’s life has changed. All but destroyed one sunshiny day; just like that, when she wasn’t looking. She needs to wake up and realise that unless she starts swimming, the waters might close completely over her head.

Review by Hazel Barker

Surfacing is the third and last of the Distance series, and is by far, the best of the three books, where the protagonist, Isobel, grows from a weak, whinging woman to a strong leading character.

The author makes good use of metaphors and similes, making the book a pleasure to read. She also draws the reader deep into Isobel’s mind, and deeply entwines characters and setting. The story opens with a hook, but slows down in the next few chapters. The pace quickens about half-way, until reaching a satisfactory climax.

I recommend Surfacing even if you haven’t read the two prequels, although you will enjoy the contents much more if you start with the previous two books in the Distance series.

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Christmas 2015 Cradlecap National Park NSW

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