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Love Oz YA in the Time of COVID-19

  • 17 March, 2020
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In her introduction to Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, editor Danielle Binks writes, ‘Books are family. Books are community.’

And LoveOzYA fam, now is the time to prove the truth of that statement.

As freelancers and small businesses, local authors and indie booksellers are in need of your support as Australia works to contain the spread of COVID-19; however, with the necessary cancellation of literary festivals and events, authors releasing books in this uncertain time are going to be the hardest hit.

Below is a list of new Oz YA titles, beginning with those to be published next month and dating back to December 2019. Many of these authors have spent years crafting their stories and now find themselves in the heartbreaking situation of cancelling their launches and appearances for the good of our community.

Additionally, most Australian authors make the bulk of their writing income not from their books but from related activities such as school visits, workshops and speaking engagements. It’s likely that many of these opportunities will be restricted this year. Please support our authors in any way you can.

We urge you to add their books to your TBR and, if you’re in a position to do so, purchase them via your local book shop (online if you’re self-isolating). Australian Independent Bookseller can help you locate your nearest indie, and many stores are offering free delivery in their local area.

If you’re unable to purchase books, there are many other ways you can help! Here are just a few:

  • Give authors a follow and shoutout on social media (we’ve included links to their socials below)
  • Recommend books to friends
  • Post a review of a book you enjoyed
  • Request books from your local library (thanks to Public and Educational Lending Rights, authors earn money from having their books in libraries)
  • Share this post and similar content supporting local authors’ work

Our community is strong, and together we’ll get through this. 💪❤️

Peta Lyre's Rating Normal by Anna Wateley YA Book Cover

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal

by Anna Whateley
Allen & Unwin

At sixteen, neurodivergent Peta Lyre is the success story of social training. That is, until she finds herself on a school ski trip – and falling in love with the new girl. Peta will need to decide which rules to keep, and which rules to break…

‘I’m Peta Lyre,’ I mumble. Look people in the eye if you can, at least when you greet them. I try, but it’s hard when she is smiling so big, and leaning in.

Peta Lyre is far from typical. The world she lives in isn’t designed for the way her mind works, but when she follows her therapist’s rules for ‘normal’ behaviour, she can almost fit in without attracting attention.

When a new girl, Sam, starts at school, Peta’s carefully structured routines start to crack. But on the school ski trip, with romance blooming and a newfound confidence, she starts to wonder if maybe she can have a normal life after all.

When things fall apart, Peta must decide whether all the old rules still matter. Does she want a life less ordinary, or should she keep her rating normal?

A moving and joyful own voices debut.

“Highly compelling, intensely moving, and ultimately hopeful, this book heralds the arrival of a talented new young adult author.” – Books + Publishing

9781760525309 – ARRP $19.99 – PB – 248pp – Ages 13 – 18
Available: 28 April 2020

Find out more about Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal and give Anna a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @AnnaWhateley and Instagram: @annawhateley_writer.

Please Don't Hug Me by Kay Kerr YA Book Cover

Please Don’t Hug Me

by Kay Kerr
Text Publishing

Erin is looking forward to schoolies, at least she thinks she is. But her plans are going awry. She’s lost her job at Surf Shack after an incident that clearly was not her fault, and now she’s not on track to have saved enough money. Her licence test went badly, which was also not her fault: she followed the instructor’s directions perfectly. And she’s missing her brother, Rudy, who left almost a year ago. But now that she’s writing letters to him, some things are beginning to make sense.

Kay Kerr’s Please Don’t Hug Me depicts life on the cusp of adulthood—and on the autism spectrum—and the complexities of finding out and accepting who you are and what’s important to you.

‘This book is beautifully intimate, and so authentic. You’re going to love getting to know its central character, Erin. I’m so thrilled this book exists.’ – Claire Christian

9781922268051 – ARRP $19.99 – PB – 288pp – Ages 14+
Available: 28 April 2020

Find out more about Please Don’t Hug Me and give Kay a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @kaymariek and Instagram: @kaykerr_.

The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks MG/YA book cover

The Year the Maps Changed

by Danielle Binks
Lothian Children’s Books

One extraordinary year will change them all…

Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.

Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.

‘A brilliant gem that will make you see the world – and your place in it – in a new way.’ – Emily Gale

9780734419712 – ARRP $17.99 – PB – 320pp – Ages 10 – 14
Available: 28 April 2020

Find out more about The Year the Maps Changed and give Danielle a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @danielle_binks and Instagram: @dbinks.

Snow by Gina Inverarity YA Book Cover

Snow

by Gina Inverarity
Wakefield Press

When the girl brought my bowl she was in and out through the door like she couldn’t move fast enough. And when the lock clicked after her I found something she’d left. A knife. And not one for spreading butter, but a sharp one for slitting throats.

Locked in a cell by her stepmother, Snow grows small but she still
grows. Even so, she’s hardly a match for a world gone wild, where the sun has disappeared behind clouds for good. The night the hunter takes her into the forest with orders to cut out her heart, Snow makes him a promise she isn’t sure she can keep.
And then she runs.

Snow’s life is no fairytale. As she grows up her path will take her into the mountains, over misty passes, desolate gorges and alpine rivers, as well as to the city, where she will make her case for the return of what is hers.

And her childish promise will not be forgotten.

A dark and lyrical Snow White retelling set in a postclimate-change world, Snow is a fairytale of the future.

‘Dark, enchanting and visceral. A classic fairytale brilliantly reimagined for our rapidly changing world.’ – Margot McGovern, author of Neverland

9781743057001 – ARRP $24.95 – PB – 208pp – Ages 12+
Available: 24 April 2020

Find out more about Snow and give Gina a follow and shoutout on Instagram: @ginainver.

Cold Between Stars by Belinda Crawford YA book cover

Cold Between Stars, ‘The Echo’ Book #1

by Belinda Crawford
Hendrix & Faust

In the dark, empty space between solar systems, something lies in wait.
It’s pretty easy being a ship kid; clean out the cyclers, avoid your sister, don’t get sucked into space. The hardest bit about it is spending a couple of decades in stasis/sleep while your ship travels to the next solar system. Then rinse and repeat all the way back to a home you’ve never seen.
Except Kuma just got kicked out of stasis early, like years early. And he’s alone.
All. Alone.
Except for the fug.

9780648488156 – ARRP $17.95 – PB – 204pp – Ages 13+
Available: 20 April 2020

Find out more about Cold Between Stars and give Belinda a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @belindacrawford and Instagram: @belindacrawford_author.

Dawn-of-Mist-by-Helen-Scheuerer

Dawn of Mist

by Helen Scheuerer
Talem Press

Discover where The Oremere Chronicles journey began in this epic bind-up of all 16 prequel short stories from bestselling author, Helen Scheuerer.

Before their fight to save the realm from mad tyrants and toxic mist, Bleak, Henri and Swinton led separate lives.

Delve into the secrets, the triumphs and tragedies of their earlier years, and the defining moments that made these much-loved characters who they are.

Teenage Bleak sails across the seas, seeking adventure with her best friend, Bren, and guardian, Senior – only to discover that trouble often finds her first.

Fiercely loyal Henri and her sister, Sahara, train relentlessly to become elite warriors, but soon learn that the Valian Way can be crueller than they ever thought.

A young and ambitious Commander Swinton struggles to prove himself worthy of knighthood, but an encounter with a beautiful stranger shows him that there are things in life more important than titles.

Dawn of Mist is the companion prequel story collection to Helen Scheuerer’s bestselling trilogy, ‘The Oremere Chronicles’.

9780648673118 – ARRP $25 – PB – Ages 13+ 9780648673101 – ARRP $6.99 – PB – Ages 13+
Available: 16 April 2020

Find out more about Dawn of Mist, read our Author Q&A with Helen and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @HelenScheuerer and Instagram: @helenscheuerer.

Taking Down Evelyn Tait by Poppy Nwosu YA book cover

Taking Down Evelyn Tait

by Poppy Nwosu
Wakefield Press

The door creaks open and standing in the entrance is my absolute worst nightmare.
Perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect brain.
Perfect sneer.
Evelyn Tait.

Impulsive Lottie – heavy-metal fan, expert tomato-grower and frequent visitor to the principal’s office – is in even more trouble than usual.

Her best friend Grace has dropped an unlikely bombshell: she’s dating Lottie’s mortal enemy, good-girl Evelyn Tait.

Studious Jude, the boy next door, has the perfect war plan. Lottie will beat Evelyn at her own good-girl game, unveiling Miss Perfect’s sinister side in the process.

Taking life more seriously starts as fun, but soon offers its own rewards . . . so long as Lottie can manage gorgeous Sebastian’s sudden interest, Jude acting weird, and the discovery that she might actually be good at something.

Taking Down Evelyn Tait is a story about family, friends and embracing who you are.
Even if that person is kind of weird.

‘‘A delicate, layered story about revenge, relationships, and learning to be kind. I adored this one.’ – Jodi McAlister

9781743056974 – ARRP $24.95 – PB – 264pp – Ages 13+
Available: 1 April 2020

Find out more about Taking Down Evelyn Tait and give Poppy a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @PoppyNwosu and Instagram: @taltales_poppynwosu.

Deep Water by Sarah Epstein YA book cover

Deep Water

by Sarah Epstein
Allen & Unwin

A gripping mystery about a missing boy and a group of teenagers, one of whom knows something but isn’t telling, from the award-winning author of Small Spaces.

HENRY WEAVER IS MISSING
Three months ago, thirteen-year-old Henry disappeared from The Shallows during a violent storm, leaving behind his muddy mountain bike at the train station.

MASON WEAVER IS TRAPPED
While Mason doesn’t know who he is or what he’s capable of, he knows the one thing binding him to this suffocating small town is his younger brother, Henry.

CHLOE BAXTER WANTS ANSWERS
Why would Henry run away without telling her? One of Chloe’s friends knows something and she’s determined to find out the truth.

As Chloe wades into dangerous waters and Mason’s past emerges, a chilling question ripples to the surface: how far would you go to keep a secret?

‘A captivating mystery about small-town secrets and the lies that protect them.’ – Ellie Marney, author of the ‘Every’ series and White Night

9781760877286 – ARRP $19.99 – Demy PB – 400pp – Ages 14+
Available: 1 April 2020

Find out more about Deep Water, read Sarah’s Author Q&A and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @SarahLEpstein and Instagram: @sarahepsteinbooks.

How to Grow a Family Tree by Eliza Henry-Jones YA Book Cover

How to Grow a Family Tree

by Eliza Henry-Jones
HarperCollins Aus.

Stella may only be seventeen, but having read every self-help book she can find means she knows a thing or two about helping people. She sure wasn’t expecting to be the one in need of help, though.

Thanks to her father’s gambling addiction, Stella and her family now find themselves living at Fairyland Caravan Park. And hiding this truth from her friends is hard enough without dealing with another secret. Stella’s birth mother has sent her a letter.

As Stella deals with the chaos of her family, she must also confront the secrets and past of her ‘other’ family. But Stella is stronger than she realises.

From the author of P is for Pearl comes a heart-warming book about family, friendship and what home can mean.

“How to Grow a Family Tree is a sincere and complex reminder that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” – Books + Publishing

9781460754955 – ARRP $22.99 – B+ format – Ages 14+
Available: 23 March 2020

Find out more about How to Grow a Family Tree and give Eliza a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @ehenryjones and Instagram: @elizahenryjones.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales YA book cover

Only Mostly Devastated

by Sophie Gonzales
Hachette Aus.

When Ollie meets Will over the summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairy-tale ending.

A family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country – Will’s school – and Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, a basketball jock and, well, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie isn’t going to pine after a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

With the noisy drama of their friends as the backdrop – from ambitious Juliette and frosty Lara, to big-hearted Darnell and king-jock Matt – Ollie has a decision to make.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right?

Only Mostly Devastated is the kind of book I wish existed when my kids were younger – a charming, funny, laugh-out-loud teen romance that reminds all readers love comes in a multitude of flavors, and they are ALL sweet.’ – Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light

9781444956481 – ARRP $17.99 – PB – 281pp – Ages 14+
Available: 10 March 2020

Find out more about Only Mostly Devastated and give Sophie a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @sgonzalesauthor and Instagram: @sgonzalesauthor.

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte YA book cover

The Vanishing Deep

by Astrid Scholte
Allen & Unwin

Astrid Scholte, bestselling author of Four Dead Queens, brings fans a thrilling new standalone YA fantasy where the dead can be revived…for a price.

Two sisters. One dangerous secret. Twenty-four hours to uncover the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Tempest was born into a world of water. The most skilled diver on the Equinox Reef, she searches drowned cities with her older sister Elysea, seeking out old world treasures to trade for Notes. After Elysea mysteriously drowns, Tempest scavenges the ruins alone, driven to collect enough Notes to buy her sister’s life for 24 hours, and to finally learn the secret she had kept until her last breath.

However, once revived, Elysea convinces Tempest to break her out of the Palindromena research facility and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death. But they’re pursued by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up, and to prevent them from uncovering the secrets behind the revival process and the true cost of restored lives.

Dead or living, everyone must pay the price.

9781760525576 – ARRP $19.99 – Demy PB – 416pp – Ages 13+
Available: 3 March 2020

Find out more about The Vanishing Deep and give Astrid a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @AstridScholte and Instagram: @astridscholte.

Sea of Gratitude, ‘The Bikini Collective’ Book #3

by Kate McMahon
Independent author

Taylor and Isolde used to be best friends – before THAT FIGHT, 18 months ago. It’s been radio silence ever since – until Taylor contacts Isolde to sympathise with her breakup: the breakup that she never saw coming; the breakup that destroyed her confidence and ended her dreams of joining the National Ballet School.

Book three in the Bikini Collective series sees the girls preparing for another action-packed surfing adventure, but one of them is burdened with secrets. With all of her scholarship funds exhausted, Carolyn has no choice: she’ll have to drop off the World Junior Tour. Just as all seems lost, the Bikini Collective – along with a mysterious donor – save the day. Next stop: Brazil! The lush South American tropics are dreamy; playful waves, everyday fiestas and beautiful, smooth-talking Brazilians. But can Carolyn find what it means to truly be happy? Just like a calm ocean with a deceiving undercurrent, things aren’t always what they seem.

Targeted at the younger end of the YA reader, Sea of Gratitude, book three of The Bikini Collective, series takes you on a sea-soaked journey of impactful friendships, learning how to make your own mould instead of trying to fit into everybody else’s, having empathy for those less privileged (and what privilege even looks like) and, of course, plenty of exhilarating surf action.

9780648478225– ARRP – PB – 218pp – Ages 13+
Available: 1 March 2020

Find out more about Sea of Gratitude and give Kate a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @thekatemcmahon and Instagram: @thebikinicollectivebook.

Blackbirch The Beginning by K M Allan YA Book Cover

Blackbirch: The Beginning

by K.M. Allan
Independent author

Welcome to Blackbirch. It’s a place no one forgets. Except for Josh Taylor. 

The fatal car crash took more than 17-year-old Josh’s parents. It stole his memories and returned him to his birthplace, Blackbirch, a tourist town steeped in a history of witchcraft. 

Amongst friends he’s forgotten and a life he doesn’t want, Josh is haunted by nightmares so believable he swears the girl in his dreams is real. Kallie is so captivating he ignores her blood-stained hands, but he can’t overlook the blue glow summoned to her skin. 

Kallie says it’s an ancient magic they share and a secret worth hiding, because as Josh discovers, they aren’t the only gifted ones. 

To restore his memories and find the true cause of the car accident, he must learn what’s real. And what secrets Blackbirch has buried in its woods.

9780648773009 – ARRP $16.49 – PB – Ages 13 – 18 9780648773016 – ARRP $5.99 – eBook – Ages 13 – 18
Available: 17 February 2020

Find out more about Blackbirch: The Beginning and give K M Allan a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @KMAllan_writer and Instagram: @k.m.allan_writer.

The ninth Sorceress By Bonnie Wynne book cover

The Ninth Sorceress

by Bonnie Wynne
Talem Press

In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?

Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.

But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name…

But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.

The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic.

978-0-6485342-2-8 (Print)978-0-6485342-3-5 (Ebook)  –  ARRP – $32.00 – PB + ebook  – 462pp – Ages 14+
Available: 13 February 2020

Find out more about The Ninth Sorceress, read Bonnie’s Author Q&A and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @itsbonniewynne and Instagram: @itsbonniewynne.

Euphoria Kids

by Alison Evans
Echo

Ever since the witch cursed Babs, she turns invisible sometimes. She has her mum and her dog, but teachers and classmates barely notice her. Then, one day, Iris can see her. And Iris likes what they see. Babs is made of fire.

Iris grew from a seed in the ground. They have friends, but not human ones. Not until they meet Babs. The two of them have a lot in common: they speak to dryads and faeries, and they’re connected to the magic that’s all around them.

There’s a new boy at school, a boy who’s like them and who hasn’t yet found his real name. Soon the three of them are hanging out and trying spellwork together. Magic can be dangerous, though. Witches and fae can be cruel. Something is happening in the other realm, and despite being warned to stay away, the three friends have to figure out how to deal with it on their own terms.

Anyone who loves the work of Francesca Lia Block and delights in Studio Ghibli films will be entranced by this gorgeous and gentle young adult novel about three queer friends who come into their power.

9781760685850 – ARRP $19.99- C PB – 304pp – Ages 14+
Available: 4 February 2020

Find out more about Euphoria Kids, and give Alison a follow on Facebook, Twitter: @_budgie and Instagram: @alisonwritesthings.

Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls by Jeremy Lachlan book cover

Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls

by Jeremy Lachlan
Hardie Grant Egmont

Strap in. Hold on tight. The follow-up to the award-winning Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds is here!

Jane Doe is in more danger than ever before. Her father is still imprisoned. The Manor – the hallowed world between worlds – is still dying. The villainous Roth is still searching for the mythical, all-powerful Cradle Sea. Worst of all, Jane has learned that she is the key to stopping him and saving the Otherworlds. Problem is, she’s stranded in the dying land of Arakaan – Roth’s home – and its people have some surprising secrets of their own.

With a little help from her pyromaniac pal, Violet, and her doubtful ally, Hickory, Jane must find the courage to accept her destiny and face her darkest fears, even if it means losing everything she holds dear.

From the desolate plains of Arakaan to the shifting halls and devious booby traps of the Manor, Jane’s Cradle quest is about to explode.

There are sandstorms. There are scorpions. There are new friends and foes. And every soul in every world hangs in the balance.

9781760501822 – ARRP $19.99 – PB – 432pp – Ages 11+
9781760506193 – ARRP $32.99 – HB – 432pp – Ages 11+
Available: 1 February 2020

Find out more about Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls and give Jeremy a follow and shoutout on Twitter: @jeremylachlan and Instagram: @jeremy.lachlan.

The Girl With the Gold Bikini by Lisa Walker book cover

The Girl With the Gold Bikini

by Lisa Walker
Wakefield Press

Whenever I see a girl with a gold bikini, I think of Princess Leia. Here on the Gold Coast, gold bikinis are common, so I think of Princess Leia a lot.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Grace has deferred her law degree and ducked out of her friends’ gap-year tour of Asia. Instead, she’s fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a private investigator, following in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars – who taught her everything she knows, including a solid line in quick-quipping repartee, the importance of a handbag full of disguises, and a way of mixing business with inconvenient chemistry.

Playing Watson to the Sherlock of her childhood friend, detective agency owner Rosco (once the Han Solo to her Princess Leia), Olivia pursues a routine cheating husband case from the glitzy Gold Coast to Insta-perfect Byron Bay, where she faces yoga wars, dirty whale activism, and a guru who’s kind of a creep.

Olivia Grace is a teenage screwball heroine for the #metoo era, and The Girl with the Gold Bikini is a body-positive detective romp, rich with pop-culture pleasures.

‘Lisa Walker’s second YA novel gives us a fun new spin on Nancy Drew and ‘girl detectives’. It will absolutely appeal to readers who love the mystery genre, with a relatable contemporary crossover … an engaging, action-packed, fast-paced book—with many end-of-chapter cliffhangers. The issue of appearance discrimination is thoughtfully considered.’ – Books & Publishing

9781743056875 – ARRP $24.95 – PB – 264pp – Ages 14+
Available: 1 February 2020

Find out more about The Girl With the Gold Bikini and give Lisa a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @LisaWalkerTweet and Instagram: @lisawalkerwriter.

Oasis

by Katya de Becerra
Pan Macmillan Aus

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archeological dig site in the desert with four close friends … and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

Their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed … until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, and shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.

The answers turn Alif and her friends against each other, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave …

9781250124265– HB – 320pp – Ages 14+
Available: 7 January 2020

Find out more about Oasis and give Katya a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @KatyaDeBecerra and Instagram: @katyadebecerra.

The Long Distance Playlist

by Tara Eglington
HarperCollins Aus.

Taylor and Isolde used to be best friends – before THAT FIGHT, 18 months ago. It’s been radio silence ever since – until Taylor contacts Isolde to sympathise with her breakup: the breakup that she never saw coming; the breakup that destroyed her confidence and ended her dreams of joining the National Ballet School.

Taylor’s had his own share of challenges, including a life-altering accident that has brought his hopes of competing at the Winter Olympics to a halt.

Isolde responds to Taylor, to be polite. But what starts out as heartbreak-themed Spotify playlists and shared stories of exes quickly becomes something more.

And as Taylor and Isolde start to lean on each other, the distance between them begins to feel not so distant after all …

9781460755211 – ARRP $19.99 – PB – 432pp – Ages 13+
Published: 16 December 2019

Find out more about The Long Distance Playlist, read our Author Q&A with Tara and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @TaraEglington and Instagram: @taraeglington.

The Dragon's Heart (Book 2, The Rose Chronicles) by Alysha King book cover

The Dragon’s Heart (Book 2, The Rose Chronicles)

by Alysha King
Independent Author

A prophecy fulfilled. An empire defeated. The Order victorious.

If only it were true.

A darkness looms and Carey Lee finds herself being drawn back into danger. Bound by the whims of a powerful man determined to procure her magic for his own, the odds are firmly stacked against her. Yet Carey must fight to stop him before he carries out his devious plans… Or risk losing everything.

9780648500322 – ARRP $24.00 – PB and eBook – Ages 11+
Published: 11 December 2019

Find out more about The Dragon’s Heart, read our Author Q&A with Alysha and give her a shoutout and follow on Facebook, Twitter: @AlyshaKing and Instagram: @alyshaking_author.

Esme's Gift (Book 2, Esme Trilogy) by Elizabeth Foster book cover

Esme’s Gift (Book 2, Esme Trilogy)

by Elizabeth Foster
Odyssey Books

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver is faced with her hardest task yet. She must master her unruly Gift – the power to observe the past – and uncover the secrets she needs to save her mother, Ariane.

In between attending school in the beguiling canal city of Esperance, Esme and her friends – old and new – travel far and wide across Aeolia, gathering the ingredients for an elixir that might help Ariane.

Their journey takes them to volcanic isles, sunken ruins and snowy eyries, spectacular places fraught with danger, where they must face their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places.

Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is a gripping fantasy-adventure read for younger teens.

Praise for Esme’s Wish, the first in the series:
‘A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.’ – Wendy Orr, award-winning author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song

9781925652833 – ARRP $21.44 – B-Format PB – 254pp – Ages 12+
Available: 10 December 2019

Find out more about Esme’s Gift, read our Author Q&A with Elizabeth and give Elizabeth a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @e_foster3 and Instagram: @elizabethfoster_.

Dark Heart by A B Endacott book cover

Dark Heart

by A B Endacott
Independent Author

“You did what you had to do for a greater cause. Sometimes to do the right thing, you have to do the wrong thing.”

The brutal Kade dictatorship has been overthrown, but the fight is only just beginning in the Third Country as tensions between the Pious and Kade communities remain high. In the fight to bring freedom to her country, Freyanna Kuch had to contravene everything her training as a healer taught her and learn how to kill. But living with the person she became in service of rebellion is no easy task.  

Yet another threat prowls the streets of Oranis and Freya is uniquely able to protect the city she loves from further bloodshed. However, to do so she must face the very real possibility that there is no going back to who she was – and those she loves.

9780648729907  –  ARRP – $19.99 – PB  – 218pp – Ages 16+
9780648729914 –  ARRP – $2.99 –  eBook 
Available: 10 December 2019

Find out more about Dark Heart, read our Author Q&A with Alice and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @ajendacott and Instagram: @alicejaneboere.

Safety in the Friendzone by Elizabeth Stevens book cover

Safety in the Friendzone

by Elizabeth Stevens
Sleeping Dragon Books

Charley and Zane had been best friends since he’d found the broken board in the fence between their houses at the age of four. Sleepovers in the backyard had turned into sleepovers in his treehouse into sleepovers in one of their rooms when they both decided sleeping closer to a toilet was actually great.

Zane and Charley were just friends until his girlfriend dumps him and there’s the beginnings of a spark. But they’ve grown a little apart in recent years and neither of them think the other would possibly ever be interested in anything more. So Charley fakes a crush and it’s Zane to the rescue in helping her follow her heart.
After all, there’s safety in the friendzone.

9781925928747– ARRP $24.95 – PB – 350pp – Ages 14+
9781925928730 – ARRP $4.99 – eBook
Published: 6 December 2019

Find out more about Safety in the Friendzone, read our Author Q&A with Elizabeth and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook and Instagram: @writeriz.

Otherwise Known as Pig by Catch Tilly book cover

Otherwise Known as Pig

by Catch Tilly
Wakefield Press

Still a loser, Pig,’ Stormin says. ‘Guess you haven’t learnt much over summer.’
‘Oh, I don’t know,’ I reply, bloody, bowed and hating his guts. ‘I can read.’ Which is when he kicks me. I really should learn to keep my stupid mouth shut. Seeing Stormin thoroughly occupied, the rest of Year 9 drift back, although they do wait till he’s left before resuming their commentary.
‘Loser.’
‘Coward.’
‘Hopeless.’
‘Pussy.’
‘Pig.’
That’s me: Morgan Patrick Lohdi – otherwise known as Pig.

Life sucks for Morgan Patrick Lohdi. Used as the school punching bag, he’s constantly bruised and harassed, and doesn’t have anything even resembling a friend. Maybe it would be okay if he could keep his mouth shut, but Morgan has a sarcastic tongue that no amount of bullying is going to keep quiet.

And then there’s Lissa, the girl he thought was his friend. Who might even have been something more – if the bullies hadn’t made her turn her back.

When the art room burns down and Morgan’s one safe haven disappears, things get much worse and he’s determined to finally make it stop. But will learning to fight back work? Or is it possible to turn the other cheek? Or, just maybe, will help come from the unlikeliest source?

Otherwise Known as Pig is a book about bullying, the planet-sized blind spots of teachers, and learning to accept help.

‘This book casts a raw and unflinching light on bullying and will resonate with many readers.’ – Charlie Archbold, author of Mallee Boys
9781743056790 – ARRP $24.95 – PB – 210pp – Ages 13+
Published: 1 December 2019

Find out more about Otherwise Known as Pig, read our Author Q&A with Catch and give her a follow and shoutout on Facebook, Twitter: @iamcatchtilly and Instagram: @iamcatchtilly.

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