Girl Running, Boy Falling (Kate Gordon, Rhiza Edge)
Kate Gordon’s Girl Running, Boy Falling deals subtly and sensitively with teen suicide, which is no mean feat. It is heartening to know that it is gradually becoming less of a taboo topic to write about. Gordon has done a brilliant job in not only tackling this issue but also expertly mirroring the language and the many facets of being a teenager. The book is set in Tasmania and follows Tiger (also known as Therese or ‘Resey’) and her close-knit group of friends: their interests, eating preferences and family dramas. Tiger comes from a broken home and lives with Aunt Kath who becomes her stalwart carer and confidant in the absence of her parents. When Wally, the boy Tiger loves, ‘falls’, Gordon portrays her grief and resilience with realism. As with her previous titles, Gordon’s strength lies in conveying the power of friendship. Girl Running, Boy Falling is an absorbing read, and gives booksellers, teachers and librarians the chance to suggest a title dealing with the issues affecting teens. Undoubtedly, they need to be spoken about.
Katie Haydon is a former assistant editor of Books+Publishing and has recently completed her grad diploma in adult language, literacy and numeracy