Book Review of Hating Alison Ashley
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Robin Klein
Ages 10+ | 192 Pages
Publisher: Puffin Books (1985) | ISBN-13: 9780140316728
What to Expect: Reality Fiction, Jealousy, Friendship, and the New Kid at School.
Robin Klein is an accomplished and celebrated Australian author, having written an impressive collection of over forty novels. Among her many illustrious achievements, she has been awarded the coveted Kids Own Australian Literature Award (KOALA) in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the literary world. One of her most beloved and noteworthy pieces is the Australian novel Hating Alison Ashley, which is widely celebrated and has even been adapted into a play and a movie.
This captivating story follows the journey of Erica Yurken as she struggles with resentment toward a new classmate named Alison Ashley. Erica Yurken, also known as Erk, Yuk, and Gherkin, thinks she is far better than everyone else and should live somewhere far posher than Barringa East—especially since she believes she is destined to be a famous actress. She also tends to make up stories about herself to impress the other sixth graders and hide the fact that she finds her family embarrassing.
When a beautiful, rich, and intelligent new girl, Alison Ashley, shows up in her class, Erica instantly hates her and classifies her as a snob. Alison does appear to be perfect—she even has acting skills and is cast as the lead role in a play at the sixth-grade camp. As their rivalry intensifies, tensions rise, and the reader is left to wonder who will emerge victorious.
The book is both humorous and compelling, and readers will be drawn in as they witness Erica’s character development. But there is much more to this novel than just a competition between two girls. Hating Alison Ashley explores themes such as competition, insecurity, and self-discovery, making it a wonderfully nuanced and engaging read for both young adults and older readers alike.
Highly recommended, Hating Alison Ashley is an incredible piece of Australian fiction to anyone who appreciates a well-written and thought-provoking novel.
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About the Author
Robin McMaugh Klein is an Australian author of books for children. She was born in Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia, and now resides near Melbourne.
What to Read Next If You Love Hating Alison Ashley
- Alice Miranda at School, by Jacqueline Harvey
- Playing Beatie Bow, by Ruth Park
- Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg