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Recommended by Stephen Dilley @stephenjdilley
Authors: Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Form: Prose Mystery
Length: 208 pages
Brief synopsis: A murder mystery set in Australia featuring two Aboriginal narrators: Beth Teller, a teenager girl who has died and is helping her father, a detective, to investigate a murder, and Isobel Catching, who starts to tell Beth a strange story featuring monsters and stolen colours which relates to a dark secret at the heart of this Australian town. The novel explores Australia’s colonial history and the Stolen Generations.
Age recommendation and challenging content: References to drug addiction and child abuse, though both with some subtlety (it doesn’t indicate whether the abuse is sexual). Recommended for Y8 and above.
Notable reasons for recommending this book: Explores Australia’s colonial history, written by two Aboriginal Australian writers (brother and sister.)
Narrative complexity – two narrative voices and different modes of storytelling (Isobel’s chapters are written in a verse/storytelling form).