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Ghost Bird (Lisa Fuller, UQP)

Lisa Fuller was the recipient of the 2017 David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer for Ghost Bird. In this young adult novel, Stacey Thomson’s twin sister, Laney, is missing. The police refuse to take a missing person report, so her mother and uncle enlist family and friends to conduct a search. Stacey dreams about Laney and, disobeying her curfew, tries to solve the mystery of her disappearance. She believes an Elder has information that could assist, but that means breaking a long-running family feud with the Millers. Stacey, her sister-cousin Rhi and Sam Miller disobey their families and visit a place all local Aboriginal people know to stay away from. There, they confront human enemies and unearthly creatures. The story is set in Eidsvold, in regional Queensland. Some readers might find the uniquely Queensland terminology and Aboriginal vernacular confusing, while others will appreciate the way it enhances the authenticity of setting and characters. The strengths of family, community and culture are woven throughout. Ghost Bird will appeal to readers aged 15 and over. With themes such as Aboriginal culture, colonisation, racism, bullying, family and friendship, Ghost Bird will be a useful addition to high school reading lists.

Karen Wyld is a freelance writer, consultant and author

 

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