Zana Fraillon was born in Melbourne, but spent her early childhood in San Francisco. At the age of twenty, she lived for a year in China teaching English in a remote rural area. She has since returned to Melbourne.
'Around the world, millions of people - including many children - are victims of human trafficking. These modern-day slaves often go unseen even in our own cities and towns, their voices silent and their stories untold. In this incredible book, Zana Fraillon imagines the story of three such children, Esra, Miran and Isa. The result is powerful, heartbreaking and unforgettable.
'Esra, Miran and Isa work for the Snakeskin gang, tending to plants in the dark and airless basement of a house they are not allowed to leave. They’ve been told that they belong to the Snakeskins, but Esra knows that she belongs to no one - and she is determined to find freedom. This is a Skellig for this generation; beautiful, magical and with Zana Fraillon’s incredible talent for combining important global issues with extraordinary storytelling.'
'Subhi's imagination is as big as the ocean and wise as the sky, but his world is much smaller: he's spent his whole life in an immigration detention centre. The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.
'Sometimes, at night, the dirt outside turns into a beautiful ocean. As red as the sun and as deep as the sky. I lie in my bed, Queeny's feet pushing up against my cheek, and listen to the waves lapping at the tent.
'Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.
'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 from the other side of the wires, and brings a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family's love songs and tragedies.
'Subhi and Jimmie might both find a way to freedom, as their tales unfold. But not until each of them has been braver than ever before.' (Publication summary)