The Rage of Sheep
I'd grown up being told that if I found myself tempted to behave in an unkind way, I just had to ask myself, 'What would Jesus do?' And then do that.
Something hard pinged off the back of my seat and bounced down the aisle.
So the question was, what would Jesus do if the Jameson sisters started chucking Jaffas at his head?
It is 1984 and fifteen-year-old Hester Jones is not having a good year. Her best friend has moved away and even though Natalie and Lynda are allowing her to hang out with them, Hester's struggling to keep up with her cool new friends. Plus, she has the most embarrassing dad in the world, who's never, ever going to let her go to the birthday bash Natalie's planning. Worst of all, her Science teacher's making her work on a project about evolution with that weird Joshua Mason . . .
When everything goes wrong, and the world stops making sense, Hester has to decide: is it better to be a sheep, or a goat?
Read an excerpt of the novel, read about 80s music in the novel, read the answers to frequently asked questions about the novel and download the reading guide.
Reviews of The Rage of Sheep
"This book made me laugh, cry and finish reading with a smile on my face . . . If you enjoy reading books that delve into social issues and yet can still resurface without bogging themselves down, this would be the one for you . . . It's hard to put this book down once you've begun."
pandapjays, age 17, insideadog.com.au
"A funny, ostensibly breezy story about life in Year Ten seen through the eyes of an intelligent, free-spirited girl . . . An entertaining read about being true to yourself and the importance of learning to think independently."
Kathy Kozlowski, Readings Monthly
"Michelle Cooper has created a truly enjoyable read. Her writing style has the innocence of adolescence and is strengthened rather than diminished by its religious aspects. I laughed when she laughed and - though I'd never admit it - I cried when she cried and at the end I reveled in Hester's triumph. The Rage of Sheep reads like a dream and will remain in my bookcase for years to come. I didn't expect to - but I loved it!"
Katherine, age 15, Canberra, Australia, YARA Reviews
"Cooper's talent lies in setting up a fairly familiar scenario, and then casually shattering all her readers' expectations. It's cleverly done, and the 1980s setting adds to the book's charm."
Ronni Phillips, The Canberra Times
"The Rage of Sheep was a great book . . . I loved the author's descriptions of things in everyday life. It made me realise high school hasn't really changed since the 1980s. I'd definitely recommend it to other girls."
Megan, age 14, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, YARA Reviews
"Hester, her friends and classmates are depicted with humour and understanding . . . Easy to read and fast moving, Cooper depicts school language and situations that most Australian students will readily identify. The language is accessible and colourful. Recommended."
Lee Finkelstein, Reading Time
"This is a great read for teenagers, who would fully appreciate the dramas that play out in the classroom and school yard between friends . . . This novel is recommended reading, appealing to the more mature reader, especially for girls."
Joyce Michael, Fiction Focus
"Hester is a convincing character . . . There are serious issues explored here, but they are handled with humour . . . This is a lightly-handled, funny and entertaining story. Recommended for middle- to upper-secondary readers."
Claire Saxby, Aussie Reviews
". . . good food for thought on philosophical issues - as well as an entertaining read."
Australian Bookseller and Publisher
"Michelle Cooper has written a very witty story about growing up and coping with all that life throws at you . . . Girls, particularly in lower secondary school, will enjoy the ride."
Fran Knight, Read Plus Book Reviews
The Rage of Sheep © Michelle Cooper
ISBN 978 1 74166 240 5 (paperback)
Published by Random House Australia in August, 2007
ISBN 978 1 74274 882 5 (e-book)
Published by Random House Australia in July, 2012