fun of saying Doris Kozlowski out loud (try it three times quickly) to the insanely
quirky, fresh and original character who narrates her sixth grade story for us,
this book is a riot of humour and warmth.
perfect for the middle-grade reader and if I may be so bold, it will sit well
on the Young Adult shelf, too. It’s beautifully paced and crafted. I loved
every funny, flawed and fetid moment and yes, you read that correctly.
lives with her little brother, mother and babcia (Polish grandmother) in
Babcia’s Melbourne house, because her dad has run off to London with the
performing arts teacher. To say their family is embarrassing, is an
understatement. Her mum constantly breaks into show tunes and plays singing,
dancing veggies on TV commercials.
say that Doris is no stranger to drama and public outpourings of emotion, when
they’re least wanted and most embarassing. She’s a girl who’s learnt the hard
way to keep her head down – and to manage the fallout from her rogue family –
as best she can.
When we meet Doris, she’s hatching a plan to win back the friendship of her old
bestie Felicity, who is now hanging out with the perfect girls. This plan
includes winning the grade six talent contest, and so there’s a very steep
learning curve (along with some snorting laughter) along the way.
flick past and still – even right up to the end of the novel – we learn
surprising new things. We laugh at, and care deeply about, the frustrating and
fabulous Doris who tries so hard and who fails so spectacularly.
is fabulous. It’s pacy and intriguing, and Doris’s 12-year-old voice shines
brightly. Everything about this book screams ‘love me and read me more quickly.
Go, go, go!’ The characters are human,
funny, endearing and relatable. And through all this, overwhelmingly, the
narrative brings into sharp focus the power of looking after others while being
true to yourself.
I loved Doris
Kozlowski and am pretty sure that you will too.
A breath of
Title: Get Your Act Together, Doris Kozlowski
Author: Jo Dabrowski
Publisher: Affirm, $16.99
Publication Date: 27 June 2023
For ages: 8 – 12
Type: Middle Grade Fiction