Griffith University Young Adult Book Award shortlist

Are You Seeing Me? cover

Are You Seeing Me?

Darren Groth

Random House Australia

Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Darren Groth now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his Canadian wife and twelve-year-old twins. His books have been published on both sides of the Pacific and include Kindling and Most Valuable Potential, which was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards – Young Adult Book Award. Darren has appeared at numerous literary events including the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival and Brisbane Writers’ Festival. He has been a guest speaker, workshop and masterclass facilitator and writer-in-residence for literary organisations, writing groups, schools and libraries, and has written articles for publications including The Courier-Mail, Writing Queensland and Mamamia.

Darren, a former special education teacher, is passionate about promoting awareness and understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and he is the proud father of an ASD son. Darren finds inspiration in subjects close to his heart, and his latest novel, Are You Seeing Me?, features twins from Brisbane – one disabled, the other his sole carer – on the road trip of a lifetime in British Columbia and Seattle.
This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .

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 with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.

For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes.

For Justine, it's a chance to reconcile the decision to ‘free' her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc – and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.

But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble . . .

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Razorhurst cover

The Incredible Here and Now

Justine Larbalestier

Allen & Unwin

Justine Larbalestier was born and raised in Sydney and is the author of the Magic or Madness trilogy, How to Ditch Your Fairy and Liar, which won the YA Western Australian Premier's book award, the YA Sisters in Crime Davitt Award and was shortlisted for the CBCA Older Readers award, among many other honours. Justine also edited a scholarly collection of feminist science fiction in the twentieth century, Daughters of Earth, and is co-editor, with Holly Black, of Zombies vs Unicorns and co-author, with Sarah Rees Brennan, of Team Human.
The setting: 1932, Razorhurst. Two competing mob bosses - Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson - have reached a fragile peace.
Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.
Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson's 'best girl'. She knows the highs and lows of life, but she doesn't know what this day has in store for her.
When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna's latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie's new protector. But Dymphna's life is in danger too and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy's ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living.
Gloriana Nelson's kingdom is crumbling and Mr Davidson is determined to have all of Razorhurst - including Dymphna. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna and Kelpie are determined to survive what is becoming a day with a high body count.
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The Minnow cover

The Minnow

Diana Sweeney

Text Publishing

Diana Sweeney is a university lecturer and fashion model. She was born in Auckland, and moved to Sydney at the age of twelve. She now lives in northern New South Wales. The Minnow is her first novel.

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. Tom is a character you will never forget.

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The Pause cover

The Pause

John Larkin

Random House Australia

Sydney-based author John Larkin was born in England but grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has, at various stages of his writing career, supported his habit by working as a supermarket trolley boy, shelf-stacker, factory hand, forklift driver, professional soccer player and computer programmer. He now writes and teaches writing full-time. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from Macquarie University. John’s The Shadow Girl won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2012 Prize for Writing for Young Adults.

One moment. One pause. One whole new life.
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.

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Vanishing Point cover

Vanishing Point

Jeri Kroll

Puncher and Wattman

Jeri Kroll is an award-winning poet. She has published poetry, picture books (2 CBC Notable Books), junior and young adult novels as well as adult fiction. Recent books are Workshopping the Heart: New and Selected Poems (Wakefield 2013), Research Methods in Creative Writing (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and Vanishing Point (Puncher and Wattman 2015), a verse novel. A staged reading of Vanishing Point was held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ‘Page to Stage’ Festival and subsequently a full production at George Washington University in Washington DC in 2014. It was a winner in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which led to a second production in Ohio in January 2015. She is Dean of Graduate Research at Flinders University and Professor of English and Creative Writing. She lives in Normanville, South Australia.

Vanishing Point is a crossover verse novel that poses the question of how individuals can learn to be comfortable in their own bodies. Nineteen-year-old Diana Warren suffers from anorexia and bulimia. She faces a challenging situation at home with dysfunctional parents and a Down-syndrome brother, which causes her to seek refuge in female role models in the mythic past. An Irish racehorse trainer who reignites her childhood love of horses causes her to question everything. Will she choose life or death? And what happens when that choice is taken out of her hands?

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