A multimedia mash-up with cool side stories, Amelia Nelson
23 March, 2021
#Tumeke! by Michael Petherick is a different style of book. It is fictional, as is Newtoun, (where the story is set), but yet it doesn’t have the same structure as a novel. It is described as a multimedia mash-up which I think sums it up well. The book is written from quite a few different P.O.Vs (point of views) which I usually like and doesn’t have thoughts or perspective apart from Dreadflock’s diary, which is only mentioned a few times. As I have already read this book I knew what I was in for, but reading it again has unveiled new sides to the personalities of the characters and their stories. For instance, how did I not pick up any romantic vibes between Anahera and Piripi the first time?
The main character in this book (although there are quite a few central characters) is Dreadflock Jamieson. She has pink hair, and I’m not sure whether this is her real name or not. Her two best friends are Jonah Luafutu and Krishna Pandit (usually called Rishi). There are a lot of other side characters like Anahera Ropata (who likes seaweed) and Constable Piripi Rutene. Monty, Pete Munro, Mr Tan, Steve Vibrant, Eagle Glasses (the librarian), Briony Shona-Haynes and many more. As you may have guessed, a lot of these people are students or teachers and they go to the same school, Newtoun School (actually, I’m not sure but it might be Newton Primary).
In a corner of the library in Newtoun (where Dreadflock spends a lot of her time) there is a community noticeboard. It pops up seven times in the book and is a higgledy-piggledy mess, like most community noticeboards. It contains notices for just about everything, from cooking classes and wrestling lessons and lost goats to how to use tape decks and everything in between. There are a lot of cool side stories created by the noticeboard, for instance, cardboy and sulphurmummy7142 swapping Pokemon cards for dolls. The noticeboard helps connect Dreadflock and Jonah in the first place, when Dreadflock put up notices about one of her hobbies – tape decks.
Characters constantly send messages to each other. I couldn’t identify the apps, but they are commonly used throughout the book. Towards the end of the story, it is also revealed the main trio (at least Rishi and Jonah) use Slurp, a version of Skype. It also appears that there’s a version of Facebook, but I’m not sure. And there are also a LOT of emails, some sent casually and some sent formally. Also throughout the book, Dreadflock is toying with the idea of whether to start a blog.
The whole book is based around the Waitangi Day Festival, or Tumeke. It is first set in action when Piripi puts up a slip of paper on the community noticeboard asking for someone to help with a community event, Anahera replies, and the rest is history. I won’t spoil how it turns out though.
I liked this book and would recommend it to all my friends (even though they’ve already read it) and anyone else 9+. We have two copies of this book at our school and often at least one of them isn’t there, meaning this book is popular at our school, and I’m sure it is at many other schools. So, yeah, this is a great book.
- Amelia Nelson lives in Paekakariki.