A whistleblower’s child hides from a drug ring in the Blue Mountains. A sixteen-year-old rolls through life like an armadillo. A Melbourne high-school graduate wrestles with her insecurities. The daughter of a Chinese restaurateur juggles her responsibility to care for her siblings as her mother’s health deteriorates.
Four lives, four fragile families, and four exquisite books. Jannali Jones’s My Father’s Shadow, Vikki Wakefield’s This Is How We Change the Ending, Nina Kenwood’s It Sounded Better in My Head, and Wai Chim’s The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling are recently released Australian coming-of-age novels. Together, they grapple with many of the traditional themes of Young Adult fiction: school, first love, sex, friendship, bullying, violence, drugs, and mental illness. They all also explore the struggle, particularly by parents, to preserve their families.