Young adult titles on offer at Bologna

Young adult titles on offer at Bologna

20 March, 2024

From First Nations publisher Magabala Books, winner of last year’s Bologna Prize for the Oceania region, comes a young adult novel ‘and gripping thriller’ Robert Runs by Mariah Sweetman, winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award. Based on true events, it tells of the experiences of the author’s great-great-grandfather Robert ‘Goupong’ Anderson, who was once the fastest man in Australia and a world record holder, his little sister Dot, and his best friend Jonathan, who belong to the Ugarapul people, the Green Tree Frog tribe, and live with their families and others within the harsh confines of the Deebing Creek Mission. ‘Goupong and Jonathan are focused on winning the mission’s biggest running race that year, but when mysterious noises, unexplained occurrences and biblical events begin to plague the local area, they are forced to investigate.’ Weaving fact with fiction, Robert Runs is a poignant look into the Deebing Creek Massacre and the tough reality of mission life.

Angourie and Kate Rice’s Stuck Up and Stupid has a ‘winning combo of Australian beaches, Hollywood glam, Austen-inspired satire and modern rom-com vibes’, according to publisher Walker, who will also be previewing the inaugural winner of the Walker Books Manuscript Prize, How to Be Normal (Ange Crawford), a ‘brilliantly written YA novel that explores timely issues of control, family dysfunction and the strength to overcome, with insight, and a light touch when needed’.

Annabel Barker Agency will be representing translation and screen rights for Lauren Draper’s Return to Sender, a YA mystery/romance novel that tells the story of 17-year-old Brodie, who returns to her small town three years after she left, to live with her nan in one of the last remaining Dead Letter Offices—a place where letters go when no one claims them. Amid the lost letters and undelivered parcels, there’s one particular mystery that Brodie finds herself drawn to: the unclaimed letters from a group of friends who seemed to vanish without a trace nearly 20 years ago.

From Affirm Press is YA spec-fic novel Anomaly by debut author Emma Lord. Described by the publisher as Tomorrow, When the War Began meets The Knife of Never Letting Go, the book follows 17-year-old Piper, who thinks she’s the last person left alive. Affirm describes the book as a ‘high-octane work of YA speculative fiction filled with breathtaking action sequences, intrigue, snarky banter and romance’.

Stars in Their Eyes (Jessica Walton & Aśka) is a graphic novel first published by Fremantle Press in Australia and now published as a full-colour edition in the US by Graphix at Scholastic Books. Also from Fremantle is Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard, which has now been picked up for adaptation as a Stan Original Series, currently filming in Western Australia. About three boys growing up in a small town where they feel they have to hide their true identities, the novel will be turned into a 10-episode LGBTQIA+ drama series for the Stan streaming platform.

On offer from Allen & Unwin (A&U) is My Family and Other Suspects (Kate Emery, October 2024), described by A&U as ‘Holly Jackson meets Agatha Christie’. Fourteen-year-old Ruth is at the family farm with her extended family, but when GG dies under suspicious circumstances, Ruth’s long weekend turns into an enforced family-holiday-slash-possible-murder-investigation in what is ‘a delightful, clean and cosy modern-day YA murder mystery with a hint of romance’. A&U is also pitching the forthcoming I’m Not Really Here (Gary Lonesborough, September 2024), ‘a heartwarming queer romance’ in which Jonah and his love interest slowly overcome their own obstacles in an ’emotionally compelling and honest’ novel for readers 14–18. For the same age group, A&U also has Comes the Night (Isobelle Carmody, November 2024), ‘an intriguing, compelling, epic YA fantasy’ from the internationally acclaimed and bestselling author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles.

Originally published by Books and Publishing (Read More)