The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky Reviewed by Jill Smith
The teacher Miss Renshaw ruled her small class of 11 girls with an iron fist. She was a little whacky and definitely a dreamer. The girls knew that they dare not go against her wishes. Their little classroom and closeted world was at the top of the building. When they were told by their teacher, ‘Today girls, we shall go out into the beautiful Gardens and think about death.’
Little did the girls know they would be haunted by what happened when they walked to the nearby memorial park, they could never tell the secret. What happened that day was a mystery to their young minds and one that caused them great unease. How could they lose their teacher? What had happened?
When finding a cover image for this book to put on my book review I came across three images. The purple and gold cover with four girls lying down head to head was the one I feel closely attaches itself to the story. These young innocents, obediently listening to their teacher, the teacher equally gullible telling them about the poet they met in the park and how he was a contentious objector. The Vietnam War was in full throw and the girls could see the horror on their television screens. Could they go on with their lives from here?
This is The Children’s Book Council of Australia Short Listed book. This is beautifully written story. I loved how the final twist at the end of the girls final day of school, still left most of them confused, all but Cubby that is. She knew what happened.