'KY!' Reviews




Daan Spijer -  'Thinking Aloud'


Clancy Tucker has written a delightful story of a teenage girl overcoming adversity.  Rida is an immigrant, a Muslim, and is bullied at school because of the way she looks and because she is regarded as a nerd.  She doesn’t fit in because she stands out.  In the process of trying to avoid her tormentors, she meets people who assist her in unexpected ways.

Rida also meets Ky, another girl who doesn’t fit in and who has a secret that eventually turns Rida’s life around completely.   This is a narrative very much of our time, dealing with issues of xenophobia and prejudice and how various people deal with these.



Clancy Tucker paints real people with real issues and brings it all together in a satisfying way.  At only ninety-five pages, this is a book that can easily be read in one sitting and the reader will be richly rewarded for doing so.

© 2016 Daan Spijer



5-Star Amazon Review by Vicki Tyley - Award-winning Author, Australia



“Reading books had always been the best way for Rida to learn, and to escape from reality. In the detention centre, she’d read to take her mind off the intolerable heat, the endless kilometres of red sand and the razor wire. Now, she read to avoid two bullies who didn't like her. Rida was the only Muslim at her school, and wearing a hijab made her stand out. Wearing glasses didn't help either.”Ky!

The schoolyard can be a scary place, and even more so if you’re different in any way from your classmates. And so it is for Rida, the only Muslim in her school.

The story of
Ky! is told in an engaging and easy reading style, but underpinning it all are strong messages about bullying, multi-culturalism, illness, courage, and fortitude. But more than anything, it was the strength of the relationships on all levels that touched me most.

This is a book aimed at teenagers, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to adult readers as well.




5-Star Amazon Review by Sarah Mallery - Author, USA.
 


Schoolyard bullying has been around for far too many years––brutal, heart-breaking, and often permanently damaging. The perpetrators thrive on power and the victims either can become so depressed they lean towards suicide or lash out, killing themselves or people around them.

But what if a victim rises above the situation with the support of a couple of people? What if he/she gets outside of his/her life by thinking of someone with even greater issues? That's exactly what happens to Rida, a young girl from Iran, after she's been accosted by heavy prejudice and hatred; when by just wearing her hijab she fears for her own safety.

There are some very important lessons in this book, but what also impressed me was not just its inspirational messages, but also how Clancy Tucker relates the step-by-step process a victim goes through when they are preyed upon. How they often spend hours thinking up ways to avoid conflict, whether it be by keeping their school locker open so they can grab their backpack immediately after their classes to quickly "go on the run," or looking for hiding places en route to their homes in case they are being followed, or, in this case, taking off her hijab just before she gets to school to lessen the attention it draws.

I believe for YA readers, displaying this thought process is very important for them, to assure them if they themselves are constantly problem-solving they, indeed, are not alone. Highly recommended. 




Review by Jennifer Douglas, Literary Publicist, Australia

 KY! by Clancy Tucker

If there is one book you should encourage your child to read this year it should be KY!. If there is one book every adult should read this year it is also KY!. This beautifully written heart warming story of a young Muslim refugee and her journey to find acceptance leaves you with hope in your heart. Hope that all who read this story will find it in their hearts to accept others with open arms. The strength within KY! has the ability to change the thoughts and actions of the next generation of adults, creating a  world of compassion, understanding and cultural acceptance.



From the back of the book:



Rida Khalid is a Muslim refugee from Iran. She is bullied by two girls at school for wearing a hijab ( Muslim headscarf), reading books and wearing glasses, and seeks refuge in an old man’s garden after school. Rida meets an Asian girl at school, Ky, who also loves books, and Rida soon dumps her for a gawky girl, Carmen, who teaches her about fitting in. To be accepted, Rida removes her hijab at school, but she must wear her headscarf whilst competing in the inter-school sports. Her family will attend.



Rida deliberately loses the first race because Carmen says “ Only nerds do well in sports.” The sports master berates Rida for losing the race and points to Ky who’s made an extraordinary effort to get out of hospital to watch her run. Ky is battling leukaemia. Rida wins the next two races and gives her winning ribbons to Ky for good luck.



Rida enters the State Athletics Championships, but two athletics clubs lodge an objection to her hijab. Rida is shocked when a retired Queens Counsel (QC) represents her at the Equal Opportunity Commission. Who is he? Will Rida win the case? Will she run in the State Championship? Will Ky beat leukaemia, and who owns the garden that Rida used as a sanctuary?



The back blurb of KY! does not do it justice. In only 95 pages Clancy Tucker says so much. Within Rida he has created a young girl who is an inspiration and a great role model for children worldwide. Finding yourself in a new country would not be easy but Rida takes it all in her stride. From the detention centre to integration into Australian society, Rida embraces life and learning using Banjo Patterson’s The Man from Snowy River to drive her forward. 



KY! is a book that needs to become part of every school curriculum. The topical issues covered are those which are raw within society. With terrorism becoming the ‘norm’ within our news, and the Muslim culture and their right to wear a hijab continuing to be an issue of debate, KY! opens discussion in a non threatening and heart warming manner. KY! by Clancy Tucker does not judge it educates. 



Then their are the other topics within. When Rida finds Ky has leukaemia her compassion and care for her new friend, who she really hardly knows, is heartwarming. Rida sets about to learn as much about her friends disease as she can. She writes to her friend and visits her in hospital whenever she can. She uses positive words to share love and healing, creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Acceptance of who we are and others as individuals runs through Rida, leaving a message that the reader will carry with them throughout life. 

Poetry runs through my blood. For myself it is a  little piece of Australian history that often gets forgotten. Clancy Tucker has won my heart with his use of  The Man from Snowy River by Banjo Patterson. He has managed to interweave it into a children’s novel with ease and grace. It touched my heart to see a piece of bush poetry, a piece of Australian history, used in such a beautiful story full of  mateship and compassion; the Australian way of life. 



On an educational level KY! opens the door for discussion and further learning that will only enrich the life of children. KY! opens a whole new literary world. After reading KY! children will only want to know more about the Muslim and Asian cultures, they will want to know more about leukaemia, they will think twice before they bully and react to those who bully on a new level. Most of all they will find belief in themselves and love and compassion for all around them.



As a writer Clancy Tucker continues to grow in strength. When I pick up a Clancy Tucker novel I can be sure of one thing, that the housework will be forgotten and that the emotions will be flowing. Thank you Clancy Tucker for enriching the literary world. 



ISBN: 978-1-646-93226-2



Available as a signed paperback with matching bookmark and as an e-book from www.clancytucker.com.au



Review: Jennifer Douglas






Review by one of Australia's great poets, Vicki Case: 

Since my first introduction to the Australian writer & poet, Clancy Tucker, I have been a staunch supporter of his literary works. I have just finished reading his latest book, KY!, & I was not disappointed.

KY! follows the journey of two young girls as they both try to assimilate into the Australian society & way of life. Sadly, because of their religious beliefs & cultural differences; the two girls are challenged at school. They both have an insatiable appetite for reading & learning, and their need to wear glasses. In light of these things, they are not only ostracised by their fellow students, but they are bullied (both verbally & physically). Rida, the young Iranian girl, finds solace & refuge in a stranger's garden. Ky is not so fortunate; she is fighting a far more formidable fight for her life. Ky & Rida become friends & they both discover different ways to fight & conquer their individual challenges.

The book kept me spellbound & on the verge of tears throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed Ky! & would recommend it to both children & adults alike. It will leave you questioning your own values & ideals. It will also leave you asking yourself - what sort of role model am I for my children?

A truly great read & one I enjoyed immensely. Well done Clancy.


Review by Anastasia Gonis on Buzzwords Books:

Rida is caught between two cultures. She is the only Muslim girl at her school, and she wears glasses and a hijab. She also loves books so is classed as a nerd by her peers. This mixture leaves her open to ridicule, emotional and physical bullying, which she is afraid to report. It also sees her isolated from the rest of the students.



Then she meets Ky, a Cambodian refugee who also loves books. At last Rida has a friend.



On a day when her two tormentors are pursuing her, she runs into a house where an old man is tending his garden. This rose garden becomes a haven; somewhere she can hide from the bullies, read and feel safe until she can get home. The man will also play a significant role in Rida’s future.



It seems she’s always running – to get away from bullies, to get to safety, or to reach home. When Mr Conan the sports master asks her to run in the inter school sports, she accepts. She learns that Ky has leukaemia and is seriously ill.



Rida has tried to fit in at school; not be so nerdy. She stops reading during recess, becomes a part-timer in not wearing her hijab during school hours. If she wins the race, will people like her more? Or will that be one more reason to dislike her?



Inspired by Ky’s presence and despite her grave illness, Rida wins the 400 metres and the relay wearing her hijab. Their school gets the trophy, and all the differences that were obstacles disappear. She is now one of them and the school’s hero with respect and acceptance.



This poignant and inspiring novella, Clancy Tucker’s first short novel, uses the backstory and generous dialogue as a gateway into awareness about the lives of refugees. The reasons they embark on treacherous journeys to reach a safe country and a possible future without fear and threat of death are told through the children’s voice and experiences. It also focuses on the endless possibilities for children’s lives, no matter what their origins, to be turned around when opportunity is made available to them.


Other themes, and there are many in this excellent story, cover cancer in children, hope, kindness and love, family unity, and how people are more than their external appearance or specific beliefs.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'KY' and Rida’s  struggles with being accepted into the mainstream Australian way of life. I hope that Clancy writes a prequel so the reader can fully understand the horrors of having to leave one’s own country to find peace and acceptance in another. I would thoroughly recommend KY to any child who has been bullied or thinks that it’s cool to bully, and for this reason, and how I wanted to read more and more, I have given KY 5 stars on Amazon.


Kim Wheeler, author, photographer, poet, UK 




 Hi Clancy,

I’ll be brief – received the book, read the book, loved the book (as always).

Vera Rothwell, New South Wales, Australia



Rida Khalid, a Muslim little girl from Iran, is given a hard time by kids at school. She loves reading books, which makes her appear like a nerd. After being bullied by two older girls, she meets a nice old man who spoke kindly to her and gives her a red rose. One day at school, Ky, a girl from Cambodia, sits next to her and introduces herself. She also likes to read books. Rida is happy that someone was prepared to talk with her. Carmen, an older girl, tells Rida she needs to stand up for herself if she wants to survive at school. Ky develops leukemia and falls desperately ill, which devastates Rida.
During inter-school athletics championships, Rida wins one race and comes second in another, which qualifies her for the State Athletics Championships. Visiting Ky at the hospital, Rida sees a sign ‘Run for Life’ and decides to seek sponsorship from students, people and businesses in support of leukemia research. In the finals, Rida receives a shattering note from Ky, creating a pivotal point for her.
In ‘Ky’, Clancy Tucker takes the reader into Rida’s wonderful world filled with hope, opportunities, obstacles and prejudice. With courage and determination, she overcomes the challenges life throws at her, gaining confidence and a growing circle of friends. Tucker’s smooth narrative and captivating dialogue will enchant young readers, but will also reward older readers with a reflection of what their own life might have been. The book offers poignant moments exquisitely written that will challenge the reader’s composure. My only regret is that Clancy Tucker has not developed ‘Ky’ into a fuller book, but what is offered will warm your heart.
- See more at: http://www.stefanvucak.com/review-of-ky-by-clancy-tucker/#sthash.dEbGLQkF.dpuf


Rida Khalid, a Muslim little girl from Iran, is given a hard time by kids at school. She loves reading books, which makes her appear like a nerd. After being bullied by two older girls, she meets a nice old man who spoke kindly to her and gives her a red rose. One day at school, Ky, a girl from Cambodia, sits next to her and introduces herself. She also likes to read books. Rida is happy that someone was prepared to talk with her. Carmen, an older girl, tells Rida she needs to stand up for herself if she wants to survive at school. Ky develops leukemia and falls desperately ill, which devastates Rida.


 During inter-school athletics championships, Rida wins one race and comes second in another, which qualifies her for the State Championships. Visiting Ky at the hospital, Rida sees a sign ‘Run for Life’ and decides to seek sponsorship from students, people and businesses in support of leukemia research. During the finals, Rida receives a note from Ky, telling her she is in remissions, which drives her harder to win her last race.


 In ‘Ky’, Clancy Tucker takes the reader into Rida’s wonderful world filled with hope, opportunities, obstacles and prejudice. With courage and determination, she overcomes the challenges life throws at her, gaining confidence and a growing circle of friends. Tucker’s smooth narrative and captivating dialogue will enchant young readers, but will also reward older readers with a reflection of what their own life might have been. The book offers poignant moments exquisitely written that will challenge the reader’s composure. My only regret is that Clancy Tucker has not developed ‘Ky’ into a fuller book, but what is offered will warm your heart.

Stefan Vucak
Award-winning author & editor 
Australia
stefanvucak.com




Rida Khalid, a Muslim little girl from Iran, is given a hard time by kids at school. She loves reading books, which makes her appear like a nerd. After being bullied by two older girls, she meets a nice old man who spoke kindly to her and gives her a red rose. One day at school, Ky, a girl from Cambodia, sits next to her and introduces herself. She also likes to read books. Rida is happy that someone was prepared to talk with her. Carmen, an older girl, tells Rida she needs to stand up for herself if she wants to survive at school. Ky develops leukemia and falls desperately ill, which devastates Rida.
During inter-school athletics championships, Rida wins one race and comes second in another, which qualifies her for the State Athletics Championships. Visiting Ky at the hospital, Rida sees a sign ‘Run for Life’ and decides to seek sponsorship from students, people and businesses in support of leukemia research. In the finals, Rida receives a shattering note from Ky, creating a pivotal point for her.
In ‘Ky’, Clancy Tucker takes the reader into Rida’s wonderful world filled with hope, opportunities, obstacles and prejudice. With courage and determination, she overcomes the challenges life throws at her, gaining confidence and a growing circle of friends. Tucker’s smooth narrative and captivating dialogue will enchant young readers, but will also reward older readers with a reflection of what their own life might have been. The book offers poignant moments exquisitely written that will challenge the reader’s composure. My only regret is that Clancy Tucker has not developed ‘Ky’ into a fuller book, but what is offered will warm your heart.
- See more at: http://www.stefanvucak.com/review-of-ky-by-clancy-tucker/#sthash.dEbGLQkF.dpuf


Clancy,

After I finished reading KY!, I felt like my heart was going to burst out and I wanted to say so many things. So I have to pause and think about what I should say first.

I think you wrote this story to inspire young adults like you did with 'Gunnedah Hero' and 'Pa Joe's Place'. In this story, you write to encourage, to inspire, to prepare Rida to reach for excellence, not to give up hope and dream, and to look into the future. That it's possible if we go for it to find and build oneself. That's why you provided Rida with many kinds of books. You wanted to prepare her for all the reasons I've just mentioned, other than her love of reading, and love of books that are more prominent than the other two stories. I touch the warm feeling of the love of books in this story. I love this feeling very much.

All the books that you mentioned may be varied in kind, but the essence of all of them are the same. They are about heroes, courage, spirits and dreams, and an unconquerable soul that are the values you presented in this story. It is an inspiration that you want to prepare her for her life in the future. I also love the two poems very much. I love when she ran in the race and she thought of the lines in 'The Man from Snowy River'. These lines, stanzas, drove her to victory. You wrote so beautifully. I greatly admire you for this.

The atmosphere in the story is warm and full of love and understanding, even though you presented the bully and discrimination, but at the same time you presented good people as a comparison. There are always good people and help, and in the end all bad people were defeated. Your story reflects your world view of an optimist, to be positive as you have always told me.

The theme of this story is about human rights, civil liberties and dignity - To be accepted in society and live together peacefully with love and understanding. I like the scene in the court proceedings. I think it's the gist of this story other than the victory of KY over Leukaemia, and Rida on her race for the project of 'Run for Life'.

I like the surprise at the end of this story. Rida showed her great spirit. I am very much impressed.


Who could not love this story? I love this story, and Rida, KY, Mr. Conan the Elder, who grew roses (again you wrote beautifully about the Rose and the people concerned), the detention officer who drove 1,200 miles to help Rida. All in all I love everybody in this story.

This story should be printed into books and to be kept with love and treasured for life.

Anchansiri Sriyananda

Bangkok, Thailand.