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Literature / Bumface

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Bumface was a 1999 children's book for kids aged 9 - 12, written by Australian author Morris Gleitzman. It won several awards (oddly, including both the Bilby Award for Older Readers, and COOL Award for Younger Readers) .

Angus wants to be Bumface, a pirate character he has created. Bumface is brave, bold, wild and free. He stars in the stories Angus tells his younger brother and sister.

Instead, Angus is just plain tired from having to change his sister Imogen's nappies and scraping food off the walls. He has to look after his siblings while his famous soap opera actress mother works and chases men, and his father and stepfathers claim they don't have time to look after their own children. Angus doesn't want to be mum's "Mr. Dependable" or dad's "Mr. Reliable" anymore. As far as he's concerned, if his mother has a baby with her newest boyfriend, it would be a disaster. So Angus comes up with a bold and brave plan to stop her getting pregnant... and then he meets Rindi. Suddenly, his problems don't seem quite so bad.


This book contains examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Both Imogen and Leo.
  • Arranged Marriage: Rindi's fate; the 'forced marriage' variety.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Rindi manages to get her marriage called off, but Angus is still stuck in his situation.
  • Cassandra Truth: Rindi blurts out that she's going to be married off when they're caught stealing contraceptives from an exhibit; Angus assumes she's just really good at making things up.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Kind of. Angus' grand scheme to save Rindi from having to marry the man her parents have chosen... is for he and Rindi to elope.
  • No Name Given: Angus refers to his mother's boyfriends and husbands as "Dad", "Number Two", "Number Three" and "Number Four".
  • Pirate: The titular Bumface, who features in Angus' stories.
  • Promotion to Parent: Angus.
  • School Play
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  • Surprise Pregnancy / Mistaken for Pregnant: Toyed with. When Angus' mother is trying to explain the plot of her soap opera, Angus thinks she's telling him that she's just discovered that she's quite heavily pregnant. (Her character on the show is, but she isn't in real life.)
  • Zany Scheme: Among other things, Angus and Rindi try to steal contraceptive devices from an exhibit, try to matchmake Angus' mother with Rindi's future husband, and elope so Rindi can't be married to someone else.

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