'A gorgeous book ... it's timeless and beautiful and it deserves to be read by people of all ages.' MELINA MARCHETTA
Shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2021
A CBCA Notable Book for Younger Readers 2021
Shortlisted for the Readings Children's Book Prize 2021
Longlisted for the ABIA Book of the Year Award for Young Children 2021
Longlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2021
One extraordinary year will change them all...
Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred's family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she's been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop's had to go away, and Luca's girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.
Even as things feel like they're spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government 'safe haven' not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.
A middle-grade coming-of-age story inspired by true events about the bonds of family, the weight of grief and the power of compassion for fans of THE BONE SPARROW, WOLF HOLLOW and THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.
'A brilliant gem that will make you see the world - and your place in it - in a new way.' EMILY GALE
'This timely and beautiful story reveals the invisible lines of kindness and empathy that connect us all.' SALLY RIPPIN
Set in a small Australian town in 1999, Binks's character-driven debut novel follows 11-year-old Winifred "Fred" Owen-Ricci through a complicated year of change that stretches her understanding of personal as well as global responsibility. Since her mother died when Fred was six, she has been raised in a cozy family unit with her police officer stepfather, Luca, and her beloved maternal grandfather, Pop. When Luca's new girlfriend and her 10-year-old son move in, Fred begrudgingly tries to adapt. Soon, the family's community also expands—in some cases also begrudgingly—with the arrival of 400 Kosovar Albanian refugees escaping war in Kosovo. Guided and challenged by ethically driven adults around her—including a thoughtfully drawn history teacher who awakens and nurtures her interest in geography—Fred grapples with the concept of a moral compass and with her changing community and relationships, especially when tragedy hits home. Acknowledging the mark of colonialism on Australia's history, and including a parallel secondary arc about Fred's Vietnamese neighbors, Binks engages Fred's emotionally grounded, intelligently questioning narrative to look at the way "maps lie. Or at least, they don't always tell the truth." Protagonists largely read as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Annabel Barker, Annabel Barker Agency.