Promise Me Happy

Nate wonders what really makes people who they are. Is it determined at birth, or is it a result of how you are raised? Either way, things are not looking good for him. His dad is abusive, his mother is dead and he’s just finished 18 months in juvenile detention. Now he is off to […]

Aurora Rising

In recent years, science fiction hasn’t been a genre I’ve read a lot – though many many years ago authors like Stephen Donaldson and Douglas Adams were favourites. ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir would have been the most recent sci-fi I have read. Thus, re-entering the genre was interesting. ‘Aurora Rising’ was a great re-introduction. […]

CBCA Notables 2020

Once again, there is an amazing array of titles selected for this year’s CBCA Notable List. Books in the YA category range from those from well established Australian authors – like Garth Nix, Neil Grant, Robert Newton and Vikki Wakefield, alongside newly found authors like Lisa Fuller. [Lisa has already received the David Unaipon Award […]

Collaborative writing: Take Three Girls

How great is it to get a book which is written by, not one, but three renowned authors! ‘Take Three Girls’ deals with the complexities of teen life, set mainly in a boarding school situation, but dealing with many of the day-to-day issues for young adults, wherever they are. Focussing on three girls – Clem, […]

Between Us: Barriers

Ana lives in a detention centre in Darwin, having escaped her home in Iran, and initially being transported to Nauru. From Wickham Point Immigration Centre, she is able to attend school, but that is about all. No freedom. No hope. No life. On her first school day, a new guard (Kenny) feels sorry for her […]

It Sounded Better in my Head

It’s Easy Being Teen. Right? Not always… Natalie has never been one of the beautiful girls at school, and for much of her teen years has suffered with chronic acne – which has caused her to be very withdrawn. Fortunately, she does have 2 close friends (Zac and Lucy) and so she looks ahead to […]

Revisit: the ‘Once’ series

As the 75-year commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz approached on January 2020, it was a good time to revisit the ‘Once’ series. Written by 2018-19 Australian Children’s Laureate, Morris Gleitzman, this series has had world-renown for many years.* The first book, ‘Once’, was written in 2005 and presents Felix, a young Jewish boy, who […]

Cloud and Wallfish

Imagine how you would feel if your parents picked you up from school, and whisked you away to a foreign country? No time to say goodbye to friends, unable to pack your favourite things – in fact, having many of your school possessions dumped in a bin, never to be seen again! On top of […]

Indie awards 2020 – YA shortlist

It’s that time of year again, when Australian independent booksellers will vote on a shortlist of new books in six categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s books (up to 12yo) and Young Adult (12+). The shortlist has been chosen by a panel of independent booksellers, and soon all other independent booksellers will […]

Amal Unbound, a novel

Life is precarious for many girls around the world – and education is not always freely available. For Pakistani girl Amal, school has been a wonderful privilege which she was lapping up, until things go frightfully wrong – her plans study to be a teacher in ruins. Amal Unbound echoes some of the realities for […]