Alpha Reader’s Aussie YA month

Danielle Binks is a really thoughtful Australian blogger and reviewer (and not just because she liked Days Like This! I swear … :))

November is Danielle’s Aussie YA month and she writes:

“November is Aussie YA month – when we celebrate the best and brightest of Australian young adult literature.

“I have a real affinity for young adult literature in general – but it’s the YA of my homeland that has a special place in my heart. It’s about holding a mirror up, finding a spark and a connection, recognizing a little of yourself in the stories and setting. It’s that ‘aha!’ moment, when you’re sure the author is writing about you and yours, the possibility that this story could be set in your hometown and you recognize a character from your own friendship group.

It first happened for me with Melina Marchetta’s ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ – when I first read about a young woman attending a cut-throat all girl’s school (like me) in the city and coping with her extended ‘wog’ family. And since then I have been seeking out that same affinity in my Aussie YA, constantly looking for that ‘aha!’ spark of connection that draws me into my own land and surroundings, reminds me a little of myself.

I have also been delighted by the many ways that Aussie YA has branched out and embraced other genres. Books like Kirsty Eagar’s ‘Saltwater Vampires‘ uses the iconic Australian sun, sand and surf as a horrifically macabre backdrop to an age’s old vampire story. Leanne Hall’s This is Shynessis a genre-bending novel that blends speculative fiction, urban-fantasy and realism in a brave new Aussie YA. Or that Alison Stewart made the first foray into the popular world of Dystopia with ‘Days Like This‘, turning Sydney into a Fountain of Youth war-zone!

Below is a list I have compiled of my very favourite in Aussie YA, produced by our finest publishing houses (and thank God for them, who understand that Aussie teens need to read beyond the shenanigans of our American/British ‘counterparts’!). The list is always growing, I’m always on the hunt for the latest from our sublime home-grown authors.

I love everything about the young adult fiction of my country. I love how brave the authors are, with their genre-bending writings. I love when characters speak in ocker Aussie that surely only us ‘in the know’ will be able to decipher. I adore beach-settings and especially Melbournian explorations. But most of all I crave that ‘aha!’ moment, when a mirror is held up and I like what I see, because it’s my beloved home.

These are Danielle’s YA picks from Penguin:

Finnikin of the Rock‘ by Melina Marchetta
Froi of the Exiles‘ by Melina Marchetta
Looking for Alibrandi‘ by Melina Marchetta
Saving Francesca‘ by Melina Marchetta
The Piper’s Son‘ by Melina Marchetta
‘On the Jellicoe Road’ by Melina Marchetta
Swerve‘ by Phillip Gwynne
Raw Blue‘ by Kirsty Eagar
Saltwater Vampires‘ by Kirsty Eagar
Beatle Meets Destiny‘ by Gabrielle Williams
The Comet Box‘ by Adrian Stirling
Days Like This‘ by Alison Stewart

You can see more of her picks from other Australian publishers, including A Straight Line to My Heart by Bill Condon, Good Oil by Laura Buzo and Shift by Em Bailey on: http://alphareader.blogspot.com/2011/11/aussie-ya-month.html

Keep writing, Danielle!

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About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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2 Responses to Alpha Reader’s Aussie YA month

  1. Danielle says:

    Thank you so, so much! You are utterly lovely 🙂

    Like

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