Melina Marchetta raises important issues in her novel, "Looking For Alibrandi". It is because of this, it is such an important text for students to study. Students can easily relate to the issues presented in the text because most people have experienced some, if not all of these issues. Marchetta has used first person point of view, conveying her ideas through Josephine, a 17 year old girl who won a scholarship to St Martha's Catholic school and lives in Glebe with her mother Christina. Because of the point of view, we learn as Josephine learns. The text's target audience is teenagers and young adults.
The issues raised in the text are easily related to students although the ones raised in "Looking For Alibrandi" are directly related to Josephine. Three of these issues include Josephine's search for self-identity and subsequent illegitimacy amongst Josephine's family and John Barton's struggle with parental pressure.
The title of the text, "Looking For Alibrandi" conveys Josephine's search for self-identity. Basically the whole text is based on this one issue and the conflicts Josephine has along the way. Josephine has a lot of help along the way to help her find herself. Christina her mother plays a major role in guiding her and giving Josephine advice, "it is not that important to look like everybody else - Christina". Here she is helping Josephine break away from the need to be like everyone else and instead search for her own identity.
Marchetta positions the audience to see that finding self identity is vital to being able to live our lives with any sense of fulfillment. This can be related to students because they may also be searching for their self-identity. Most teenagers are looking for their identity but not realizing it. Josephine continues to search and discover new things about her and her family's past. Josephine finally did find her identity, Marchetta tells us this by, .