Anahita is passionate, curious and determined. She is also an Iranian asylum seeker who is only allowed out of detention to attend school. On weekdays, during school hours, she can be a 'regular Australian girl'. Jono needs the distraction of an infatuation. In the past year his mum has walked out, he's been dumped and his sister has moved away. Lost and depressed, Jono feels as if he's been left behind with his Vietnamese single father, Kenny. Kenny is struggling to work out the rules in his new job; he recently started work as a guard at the Wickham Point Detention Centre. He tells Anahita to look out for Jono at school, but quickly comes to regret this, spiraling into suspicion and mistrust. Who is this girl, really? What is her story? Is she a genuine refugee or a queue jumper? As Jono and Anahita grow closer, Kenny starts snooping behind the scenes.
“We don’t pick and choose what to be afraid of. Our fears pick us.” Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing. As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?
Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else. The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey's health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can't be named. A big-hearted novel about loving and letting go by an award-winning author.
Merrick Hilton's done a runner. His folks think he's studying, but the real world has been calling for years and he can't ignore it any longer. A postie bike, a bedroll and a big sky - that's all he needs. But there's no telling how he'll handle roadkill, stolen oranges and unexpected romance, let alone the rough stuff. And in the real world nothing goes entirely as planned. Thankfully Victor - the old bloke Merrick meets on the road - knows a thing or two about broken bike chains. And broken hearts.
'There are worse things than school.' Luke sleepwalks through his days wagging school, swimming at the reservoir and eating takeaway pizza. That is until Charlotte shows up. Rumour is she got expelled from her city school and her family moved to the Blue Mountains for a fresh start. But when Luke's invited to her house, he discovers there's a lot more going on than meets the eye.
Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands-Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie?s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.
Summary: Kate, a quiet boarder, making some risky choices to pursue the experimental music she loves. Clem, shrugging off her old swim-team persona, exploring her first sexual relationship, and trying to keep her annoying twin, Iris, at arm's length. Ady, grappling with a chaotic family, and wondering who her real friends are; she's not the confident A-lister she appears to be. When St Hilda's establishes a Year 10 Wellness Program in response to the era of cyber-bullying, the three girls are thrown together and an unlikely friendship is sparked. One thing they have in common: each is targeted by PSST, a site devoted to gossip and slander that must have a source within St Hilda's. Who can you trust when rumour is the new truth?
Summary: Sandy knows that life at 15 is hard, but it's even harder when your mum died a year ago and nothing's gone right since. His brother Red is 18 and working the farm. As Sandy and Red deal with girls, dirt biking, footy and friendship, both have to work out who they want to be, without their mum. It turns out this is going to be one hell of a year.
Summary: 14-year-old Tamara is faced with an impossible choice when she falls for her kidnappers. Yet this is no ordinary kidnapping. Tamara has been living on a star freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are Crowpeople - the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crowpeople attack, until now, and Tamara must use everything she has just to stay alive. But survival always comes at a price, and there's no handbook for this hostage crisis. As Tamara comes to know the Crowpeople's way of life, and the threats they face from humanity's exploration into deep space, she realises she has an impossible choice to make. Should she stay as the only human among the Crows, knowing she'll never see her family again, or inevitably betray her new community if she wants to escape?
Summary: Everyone has a story. Tiny is an eighteen-year-old girl living on the streets in Sydney, running from her small-town past. At a temporary homeless shelter she meets Nola, a high school student on volunteer placement. Both girls share their love of words through the Hope Lane writing group. Can they share their secrets, too? Told through the eyes of both Tiny and Nola as they negotiate their way through homelessness, shifting friendships, betrayals, addiction and a little bit of romance, Because of You explores the vastly different coming-of-age stories of two girls who are learning to find their individual strengths.
Summary: Sophia is smart, like genius-calculator-brain smart. But there are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for, and the messiness of real life is one of them. When everything she knows is falling apart, how can she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life? Joshua spends his time honing magic tricks and planning how to win Sophia's heart. But when your best trick is making schoolwork disappear, how do you possibly romance a genius? In life and love, timing is everything. This is a captivating novel about two extraordinary teens, and the unsolvable problem of life after high school.
Melbourne, Vic. : The Text Publishing Company, 2017
Audience: For young adults
Summary: Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She's a prankster and a risk-taker, and she's not afraid of anything-except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can't explain. The funny girl isn't laughing anymore. She's haunted by voices and visions - but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf. As she's drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what's real or imagined - all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price. Everything about her is changing - her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don't understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?
Summary: Sam stared at the picture of the boy about to be tipped off the edge of the world: the crushing weight of water about to pummel him. Sam knew that moment exactly, the disbelief that what was about to happen could even be possible. The intake of breath before the flood. Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she's dead, it's worse than ever. With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty. Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision ...will he sink or will he swim.
Summary: Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of a distant homeland, Subhi has only ever known life behind the fences. But his world is far bigger than that -- every night, the magical Night Sea from his mother's stories brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. And as he grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of his containment. The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie -- a scruffy, impatient girl who appears on the other side of the wire fence and brings with her a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it herself, she relies on Subhi to unravel her family's love songs and tragedies. Subhi and Jimmie might both find comfort -- and maybe even freedom -- as their tales unfold. But not until each has been braver than ever before. Note: Carnegie Medal 2017 Finalist; Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016 Finalist
Sydney, New South Wales : Pan Macmillan Australia, 2016
Honour Book 2017
Audience: Young adult
Summary: Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries. This is a love story. It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind. Sometimes you need the poets.
Summary: Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who's tired of giving second chances. When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie's half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn't want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes... and secrets of his own. Frankie's search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything.
Melbourne, Victoria : The Text Publishing Company, 2016
Audience: For young adults
Summary: When Lowell Sencha finds a strange girl called Lycaea lying as if dead on the riverbank, he is startled to find that she is like him: waer. Human, but able to assume the form of a wolf. Then soldiers descend on the village with fire and sword, searching for her. Lowell and Lycaea are among the few to escape. Now they must find their way to the city of Luthan. Their mission is to bring down Daeman Leldh, the deranged tyrant whose fantasies of blood purity threaten them all. And they will need help that only Lycaea's former comrades in Luthan can give. If she can persuade them not to kill her.
Summary: If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn't bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She'll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn't haunt her. Things aren't so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.
Summary: For Van Uoc Phan, fantasies fell into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar. Van Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes. But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.
Summary: Every girl dreams of being part of the line - the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important. Jena is the leader of the line - strong, respected, reliable. And - as all girls must be - she is small; her years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of the things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena question everything she has ever known? What happens when moving a single stone changes everything?
Melbourne, Victoria The Text Publishing Company, 2015
Honour Book 2016
Audience: For young adults
Summary: At seventeen, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She's dropped out of school. She's living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she's in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn't love her back. She's stuck in Mobius; a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only attraction, stuck working in roadhouse & babysitting her boss's demented father.
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Delilah's crazy life is about to get crazier. Ever since her father took off overseas, she's been struggling to run the family's cafe without him and survive high school. But after a misjudged crush on one of the cool girls, she's become the school punchline as well. With all that's on her plate she barely has time for her favourite distraction - spying on the beautiful Rosa, who dances flamenco at the tapas bar across the road. Only her best friend Charlie knows how she feels about Rosa, but he has romantic problems of his own. When his plan to win an older woman's heart goes horribly wrong, Del is the only one who can help Charlie stay out of jail. All this leaves Del grappling with some seriously curly questions. Is it okay to break the law to help a friend? How can a girl tell another girl she likes her without it ending in humiliation and heartbreak?
Summary: A hard-hitting story about mental health and living with depression and anxiety. It will be efficient. It will be final. Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he's known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for. But there's something in Declan's past that just won't go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he's at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all. Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the edge of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. And this makes all the difference. One moment. One pause. One whole new life.
Summary: Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it's nothing to do with him. That's just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and something headed Walgaree's way will blow things apart. It's time for Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.
In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl's struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal. I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old. Hannah's world is in pieces and she doesn't need the school counselor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mother, an injured dad, and a dead sister, who wouldn't have problems? Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn't afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?
Summary: Rosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas. They are also best friends. It doesn't matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life. Born just five days apart in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, the girls are inseparable, until Nona moves away at the age of nine.
Summary: Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it's time to move out - Tom is pregnant with Bill's baby. Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings. And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming of age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss.
Note: Winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing, 2013
Summary: Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest. It's been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But this road trip will have earth-shattering consequences..
Summary: Kat Jones is woken by an intruder looming over her bed. She's saved by Edwina - the neighbour Kat believes betrayed her dying mother. To stop the prowler she needs Edwina's help...and what Kat learns next could mend fences - or break her fragile family apart forever.
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Alba is an aspiring comic-book artist, pastry enthusiast and eternal optimist. She thinks life in her tiny town is awesome (if predictable) and she never wants it to change. Unfortunately Alba's just finished year 12 - so the only thing she can predict is that everything's going to change.
Summary: Life? It's simple: be true to yourself. The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are... Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They're extra-curricula.
Summary: There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don't. But when the girl appears at Isola's window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help. Her real-life friends - Grape, James and the new boy Edgar make her forget for while. And her brother-princes-magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairy tales Isola idolises-will protect her with all the fierce love they possess. It may not be enough. Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl's demise.....before the ghost steals Isola's last breath.
Summary: For Fin, it's just another day - racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe. Only it's not like any other day because, on the other side fo the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated.
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Sam Kinnison is perfectly happy as a game-playing, movie-obsessed geek until beautiful, friendly, and impossible to ignore Camilla Carter starts him wondering if he has been watching all the wrong movies.
Summary: Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you're embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you've made. That's how Billy's grandmother explains it, anyway.
Summary: Presented as a series of vignettes, this story tells of a young mans coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where those who dont know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures.
Summary: On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock - the men, the women, the children - once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing? Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.
Camberwell, Vic. : Penguin Group (Australia), 2012
Audience/Format: Young adults
Summary: Colin's family has not been the same since his sister Briony disappeared at Pichi Richi Pass, so no one is too surprised when Colin attempts to kill himself and ends up in Ward 44. Dr Parkinson runs a tight ship and it's all meant to help Colin get better. Then how come Colin is still seeing giant talking cockroaches?
Summary: Charts the relationship between two social misfits, played out in the space between their windows. Creepy is a boy who watches from the shadows keenly observing and caustically commentating on human folly. Maud is less certain. A confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her parents and assures her isolation.
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run - running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who'd like her to stay. She's lost, alone and afraid. Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started - and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.
Summary: Hanna Mendel liked to know what was going to happen next. She was going to be a famous concert pianist. She was going to wear her yellow dress to the dance on Saturday night. But she didn't plan on her street being turned into a ghetto. She didn't plan on being rounded up and thrown in a cattle truck. She didn't plan on spending her sixteenth birthday in Auschwitz, in a wooden barrack with two hundred other prisoners. Most of all, Hanna didn't plan on falling in love with the wrong boy.