'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)
'Michael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman. Suitable for young readers from 14 years of age.' (Publisher's blurb)
'"There were only eleven of them, like eleven sisters all the same age in a large family. Because it was such a very small class, they had a very small classroom, which was perched at the very top of the school - up four flights of stairs, up in the high sky, like a colony of little birds nesting on a cliff. 'Today, girls,' said Miss Renshaw, 'we shall go out into the beautiful Gardens and think about death."'
'In the Gardens they meet a poet. What follows is inexplicable, shocking, a scandal. What really happened that day? Is 'the truth' as elusive as it seems? And do the little girls know more than they are letting on?' (From the publisher's website.)
'Maddy yearns for her life to be mystifying, to be as magical as a fairy story. And then one day, on the beach, she meets the strangest young man she has ever seen.
'The Ghost's Child is an enchanting fable about the worth of life, and the power of love.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Through a series of recollections, Where in the World tells the compelling story of Ari, an eleven-year-old boy with a gift for music.
'For such a young boy, Ari has already had to face some big issues in his life: emigrating from Germany to Australia with his mother, leaving behind his beloved grandfather, whom he and his mother have lived with since the death of Ari's father in a car accident; developing a relationship with his new stepfather, Jamie; and learning how to deal with his musical talent, the expectations it places on him, and what it will mean for his future. By remembering his early travels around Europe with his mother, and translating his memories of people and places into pieces of music, Ari grows to realise that life is composed of many kinds of journeys - figurative as well as literal - and accepting those journeys is part of finding your place in the world.
'With beautifully drawn characters, this is a gentle and moving book. ' (Publication summary)
'An endearing picture book about six young children on their first day at school - delightfully illustrated by Kim Gamble. A story book for parents to read with young children about to begin school, or for older children to read when they are remembering their first days at school.' (Publication summary)
Nine-year-old Sam Kellow's family has fallen on hard times - the buyer for his mother's latest painting has disappeared, and his gambler father has no immediate prospects for making money. Therefore it falls to Sam to find the 'Big Bazoohley' - the windfall his father insists will arrive when they need it most - and he slips out of their Toronto hotel room to do just that. However, he is soon kidnapped by a strange couple who want to enter him in the Perfect Kiddo contest, in lieu of their own son who is in bed with chicken pox. The prize for the contest is a part in a commercial and $10,000, and it doesn't take Sam long to work out a way to turn this bizarre series of events into the solution for his family.
The people of Rin have long lived in the shadow of the Mountain, hearing the dragon's roar every morning and evening. When the village's precious stream stops flowing, a frightening journey must be undertaken up the Mountain to the stream's source. To the hardy villagers of Rin, the boy Rowan is a timid weakling. Yet because only he can read the magical map, it is Rowan who must brave the unknown terrors of the Mountain to save the village and solve a witch's riddle.
'My Place, the classic Australian picture book, is a "time machine" which takes the reader back into the past. It depicts the history of one particular piece of land in Sydney from 1788 to 1988 through the stories of the various children who have lived there. It aims to teach the reader about the history of Australia, about families, settlers, multiculturalism, and the traditional owners of the land. Each child's story covers a decade in time, showing their particular dress, customs and family life.
'The book also features maps that the successive generations of children have 'drawn' which demonstrate the things that have changed - as well as the things that have remained constant. My Place ultimately aims to show "that everyone is part of History" and that "every place has a story as old as the earth".' -- Provided by publisher (2008 ed.)
'Trespassing in Mr Lovett's secluded garden was a welcome escape for sixteen-year-old Catherine. A haven away from the parents who didn't understand her moodiness and from her pretty, even-tempered sister, Diana, who she resented. It was a place to be alone.
But this all changes when Catherine is confronted by Mr Lovett and, realising he is blind, decides to confide in him. And so begins a remarkable friendship.
Unexpectedly, a third person appears in the garden: an intruder. Terry, abrasive and sullen, menacing even—has a claim to make on the garden. It is a piece of land he feels should belong to his own family. In his plan neither Mr Lovett nor the garden are safe and it is up to Catherine to stop him but in Terry, she recognises something of herself.
A complex and gripping novel of human relationships from one of Australia's foremost authors for young adults.' (Publisher's blurb)
'The arrival of baby Carl marks a turning point in the lives of the Mariners. Loved and wanted though he is, Carl casts a shadow over the household, and his adolescent brother becomes increasingly resentful and bewildered.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
Simon Brent is orphaned. Still shocked, he is taken to live with his only relatives, brother and sister Charlie and Edie Waters, who live on a farm. There, Simon meets the Aboriginal spirits who also live on the land. Together Simon, Charlie, Edie, and the spirits save the land from the ancient Nargun. The story is memorable in the portrayal of the Nargun and the spirits, as well as the characters of Charlie and Edie, and the depiction of Simon's change from a shocked and emotionally frozen individual to a normal boy.