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Reviews >

People Who Lunch (Sally Olds, Upswell) 

Nonfiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Emma Rose.

People Who Lunch is the much-anticipated first book by Melbourne-based writer Sally Olds. Known among a devoted coterie of fans...

A Message for Nasty (Roderick Fry, Awa Press) 

Fiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Danielle Bagnato.

Roderick Fry’s debut novel is the harrowing wartime story of a family fighting to reunite amid the destruction of the...

A Question of Age: Women, ageing and the forever self (Jacinta Parsons, ABC Books) 

Nonfiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Rebecca Butterworth.

Jacinta Parsons wanted to get under the skin of ageing. What is it? And can we prepare ourselves for it,...

Itty Bitty Kitty (Maddy Mara, illus by Noémie Gionet Landry, Affirm)   

Younger readers

Released September 2022, reviewed by Annie Waters.

Maddy Mara is the pseudonym for publishing powerhouses Hilary Rogers and Meredith Badger, who have between them worked across industry...

My Deadly Boots (Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler, illus by Samantha Campbell, Lothian) 

Children’s picture book

Released September 2022, reviewed by Anica Boulanger-Mashberg.

This is the story of a pair of fantastically bright footy boots which may or may not be the source...

The Wintrish Girl (Melanie La’Brooy, UQP) 

Younger readers

Released September 2022, reviewed by Angela Crocombe.

Melanie La’Brooy’s The Wintrish Girl is an exciting middle-grade fantasy debut. Penn is an outsider in the strict world of...

The Tree at Number 43 (Jess McGeachin, Puffin) 

Children’s picture book

Released September 2022, reviewed by Michael Earp.

Jess McGeachin has fast established himself as an exciting and skilled creator of picture books, drawing on his work at...

Where You Left Us (Rhiannon Wilde, UQP) 

Young adult

Released September 2022, reviewed by Ilona Urquhart.

Rhiannon Wilde’s second YA novel, Where You Left Us, is as bewitching as her Glendower Award–winning debut Henry Hamlet’s Heart....

Bon and Lesley (Shaun Prescott, Giramondo) 

Fiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Kelsey Oldham.

Shaun Prescott continues his existential explorations of modern life in his second novel, which follows his 2017 debut The Town....

Birdbrain (Kelli Anne Hawkins, HarperCollins) 

Younger readers

Released September 2022, reviewed by Annie Waters.

In her return to middle-grade fiction, Kelli Anne Hawkins delivers another madcap caper for 10- to 12-year-olds that has puns...

Paper Cage (Tom Baragwanath, Text) 

Fiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Danielle Bagnato.

Paper Cage is a thrilling whodunnit and the winner of the 2021 Michael Gifkins Prize. The story centres on Lorraine,...

Naturopolis (Deborah Frenkel, illus by Ingrid Bartkowiak, Storytorch Press) 

Children’s picture book

Released September 2022, reviewed by Anica Boulanger-Mashberg.

The narrative nonfiction genre of children’s books—particularly those exploring the natural world—seems to be growing, and it can be hard...

Curlews on Vulture Street (Darryl Jones, NewSouth) 

Nonfiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Kim Thomson.

A fascination with birds and wildlife took hold early for Darryl Jones. Now a professor of ecology at Griffith University,...

Dirt by Sea (Michael Wagner, illus by Tom Jellett, Puffin) 

Children’s picture book

Released September 2022, reviewed by Michael Earp.

When Daisy mishears the lyrics of the national anthem, Dad declares a road trip in Mum’s Kombi to show her...

Honour Among Ghosts (Sean Williams, A&U) 

Younger readers

Released September 2022, reviewed by Charlotte Callander.

Honour Among Ghosts is a high-action historical mystery set in a small Irish village where there are sorcerers, moralistic ghosts...

Dancing Barefoot (Alice Boyle, Text) 

Young adult

Released September 2022, reviewed by Jordi Kerr.

Dancing Barefoot brings a warm and uplifting queer contemporary romance to the #LoveOzYA, #AusQueerYA and #OwnVoices scenes. Winner of the...

Be Careful, Xiao Xin! (Alice Pung, illus by Sher Rill Ng, Working Title Press) 

Children’s picture book

Released September 2022, reviewed by Anica Boulanger-Mashberg.

The bilingual picture book Be Careful, Xiao Xin! shows us how hard it can be for a young child to...

Wildflowers (Peggy Frew, A&U) 

Fiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Carody Culver.

When we first meet 37-year-old Nina Atkins, the protagonist of Peggy Frew’s Wildflowers, she’s going through a strange time: she’s...

Farm: The making of a climate activist (Nicola Harvey, Scribe) 

Nonfiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Julia Taylor.

Is it possible to be a meat-eating environmentalist? How do you spend months bonding with your heifers, seeing them as...

Cautionary Tales for Excitable Girls (Anne Casey-Hardy, Scribner) 

Fiction

Released September 2022, reviewed by Chloë Cooper.

Office assistants team up to steal leftover food from corporate meetings; teenage girls deal with uninvited boys during a schoolies...