Everybody Jam – Ali Lewis

Danny Dawson lives in the middle of the Australian outback. His older brother Jonny was
killed in an accident last year but no-one ever talks about it.

And now it’s time for the annual muster. The biggest event of the year on the cattle
station, and a time to sort the men from the boys. But this year things will be different:
because Jonny’s gone and Danny’s determined to prove he can fill his brother’s shoes;
because their fourteen-year-old sister is pregnant; because it’s getting hotter and hotter
and the rains won’t come; because cracks are beginning to show . . .

When Danny’s mum admits she can’t cope, the family hires a housegirl to help out – a
wide-eyed English backpacker. She doesn’t have a clue what she’s let herself in for. And
neither do they.

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17 thoughts on “Everybody Jam – Ali Lewis

  1. Kathryn says:
    In the Australian outback Danny, a 13 year old boy, and his family live and work on a ranch. It has been a few months since his brother died in an accident and now his sister is pregnant, more problems arise with the hiring of a new hand and ‘cracks are beginning to show’.
    When I first picked up this book the blurb just didn’t appeal to me; it wasn’t anything like what I normally read and seemed like a book I normally wouldn’t think to pick up. However once the book was started I was unable to put it down, the story was so dramatic.
    I will say however that I didn’t like Danny, but I feel to use any other character just wouldn’t have been the same, but I get the feeling your suppose to feel like that and I find it a quality some books haven’t explored- telling it through the eyes of someone who isn’t new nor particularly favourable.
    The only real dislike I had with this book was when the ‘Pommie’ Liz didn’t speak for herself; it was more like ‘she said that I was’ which was an annoyance when it was continued frequently throughout the book. Apart from that I really loved the book and would pick it up again to read.

  2. I’m introducing you on Friday 🙂 if you’ve got any tips on what you’d like me to say then just let me know :3
    Charlie x

  3. This was my favourite book (I still have to read A Beautiful Lie) I loved how it was written and I liked how that if I was in Danny’s situation I would probably have done the same things as he did – I loved buzz !!
    I did really hope that Danny would get together with the pommie and I guessed that Gil was the baby’s daddy when he was first mentioned 🙂 I found it a little bit racist to black people but I really really enjoyed it 😀 WELL DONE MY FRIEND WELL DONE love charlie xx

  4. This was an interesting book to read, I learnt quite a bit about Australian life. It took me a while to get into this book but once I had I couldn’t put it down.

  5. It took me a while to get into ‘Everybody Jam’ but after a little while I found I simply couldn’t put it down and was reading for hours on end!

  6. Everybody Jam has a really good story to it but it takes too long to get into the book and the muster could have had a lot more meaning to it

  7. Very interesting, a real focus on teenage pregnancy and outback life style, a well written book that focuses on the reality of life.

  8. With lots of action and events, Everybody Jam, has an interesting plot that is difficult to stop reading or forget about. Despite this, the main character and narrator, Danny, seems naïve, self-centred and arrogant for most of the book, though he does become more agreeable by the end. This doesn’t detract from how gripping the story is, although the Australian dialect is a bit difficult to get used to. It isn’t the most beautifully written story, but the narrator talks to the reader in a way that makes you feel more involved in the story.
    As the story is set on a cattle range, a lot of the plot revolves around the farming, yet this is surprisingly not difficult to understand nor repetitive. Quite the opposite – it helps the reader to understand Danny’s life, and each time something happens it is distinctly different from previous events.
    For some reason, I didn’t think I would like this book at all before I read it. Fortunately, it has proven my first thoughts wrong and is, in fact, an extremely enjoyable read.

    By Lauren

    Everybody Jam is the story of Danny Dawson, a 13-year-old living in the Australian outback. The harsh, unforgiving climate mirrors the atmosphere in the Dawson family, with oldest son Jonny killed in an accident the year before, and 14-year-old Sissy expecting a baby, everyone’s temper is rising. Soon it will be the muster, an event held every year on the cattle stations, and this will be Danny’s last before he is packed off to boarding school. Determined to prove himself a man in Jonny’s absence, Danny faces many trials in his final months before the muster, striking up an unlikely friendship with the “Pommie” English housegirl Liz, who is permanently startled at the differences between Australia and England, and trying to train his camel Buzz not to run away.

    This book is a tale about growing up, and leaving your childhood behind, a mix of moments of real sadness, and moments of joy, but more than anything else, it is an insight into the wonderful world of Australia.

    By Sarah

  9. Everybody Jam is a great book overall! My only criticism is that the muster runs across a lot of time, and after a while it did get boring to read. However when there was bits of action in the muster it was great it did lighten that up a bit! The rest of the book as a whole was great. Not knowing much about the Australian farming and the muster it felt like the book was very factual, and it opened up a new thought about Australian farming that I never knew and I liked that! Overall I really liked the Camel and how it was just there, but also the overlying presence of the older brother Jonny and how death can affect different people!

  10. Everybody Jam is an interesting story. I couldn’t put the book down. I really enjoyed reading Everybody Jam.

  11. I planned on reading this book as my second choice and I liked the beginning but what I didn’t like was how long it took to write abouot the muster, this put me off the book and therefore it did not make my top three xxxxx

  12. Astounding book! very good. Shows real life moments.. experiences and bravery, courage and true family, very very very very good:)

  13. I think this book is very good as it expresses real life moments of teen pregnancy and death. Australian words define their home ‘ways’. It can be very touching and its a little sad how she’s at such a small age. conclusion: very good, not sutible for young readers.

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