#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#12)

Throwback Thursday #LoveOzYA edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

Jade’s pick

Title: Jasper Jones 
Author: Craig Silvey
Released: March 1st 2009
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.

Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery.

With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.

And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.

In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.
why I chose it

I first read this book for my year twelve theatre class and I wasn’t the biggest fan, it was good, but it wasn’t until I saw the live show that I understood many of the themes that are in this book. There’s mystery, deceit, racism, friendship and first love, all told in the point of view of a thirteen-year-old – which the author does a great job of giving Charlie a unique voice and incorporating these into what life in Australia was like in the 1960’s.

The unique writing style of the author appeals to all readers while the dramatic opening and dark insight to Australian society makes readers want to find out what happens next. 

As you take on this coming of age journey with Charlie you remember your own curiosities and adventures as a child, which is why I chose this as my pick for this week’s Throwback Thursday! Happy reading 💖

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  1. I absolutely loved Jasper Jones as well Jade. Considering it was published in 2009, back then I can't recall any Aussie young adult books that were discussing racism, the prejudice against Jasper in such a small, tight knit community would have been only the tip of the iceberg back then too sadly. Jeffery was an example of how casual racism really isolates our multicultural communities. I love your throwback choice Jade!

    1. Exactly! The author did a great job of exploring so many themes in a short time which was the reason I had to read during year 12! Thank you!


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