Fiji

Fiji
Kalyana by Rajni Mala Khelawan

Kalyana by Rajni Mala Khelawan

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Growing up in the Fiji Islands in the late 1960s, Kalyana Mani Seth is an impressionable, plump young girl suited to the meaning of her name: blissful, blessed, the auspicious one. Her mother educates Kalyana about her Indian heritage, vividly telling tales of mischievous Krishna and powerful Mother Kali, and recounting her grandparents’ migration to the tiny, British colony.

While the island nation celebrates its recently granted independence, new stories of the feminist revolution in America are carried over the waves of the Pacific to Kalyana’s ears: stories of women who live with men who are not their husbands, who burn their bras, who are free to do as they please. Strange as all this sounds, Kalyana hopes that she will be blessed with a husband who allows her a similar sense of liberty.

But nothing prepares her for the trauma of womanhood and the cultural ramifications of silence and shame, as her mother tells her there are some family stories that should never be told.


Maya by Jostein Gaarder, James Anderson (Translator)

Maya by Jostein Gaarder, James Anderson (Translator)

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A chance meeting on the Fijian island of Taveuni is the trigger for a fascinating and mysterious novel that intertwines the stories of John Spooke, an English author who is grieving for his dead wife; Frank Andersen, a Norwegian evolutionary biologist estranged from his wife Vera; and an enigmatic Spanish couple, Ana and Jose, who are absorbed in their love for each other. Why does Ana bear such a close resemblance to the model for Goya's famous Maja paintings? What is the significance of the Joker as he steps out of his pack of cards? As the action moves from Fiji to Spain, from the present to the past, unfolding further stories within the stories, the novel reveals an astonishing richness and complexity.


The Sailmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Stephanie Johnson

The Sailmaker's Daughter: A Novel by Stephanie Johnson

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It is 1918 and Spanish Flu is epidemic in Suva, the capital of Fiji. Twelve year old Olive is sent with her brothers and grandmother to Taveuni to stay with her childless aunt and uncle on their sugar plantation to escape the disease as her mother lies dying of the flu in their family home. The months that follow hold magic and sorrow for Olive, as she uncovers well kept family secrets and grieves for her dying mother.

The Sailmaker's Daughter is dedicated to the memory of Stephanie Johnson's grandmother, who was born in Fiji in 1905. Like Olive in the book, her grandmother was one of a large family; her father was the sailmaker in Suva and her mother died of the Spanish Flu at the end of the Great War. The Sailmaker's Daughteris both a tribute to Stephanie Johnson's grandmother and a powerful evocation of a mystical paradise lived and lost.

Cook Islands

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Leaving One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

Leaving One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

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Things are very different for Tuaine, who is going to school in New Zealand, away from her beloved island home. Inspired by Anne Frank, Tuaine begins to write about her new life in her own diary.


Return To One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

Return To One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

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Tuaine has returned to the Cook Islands after a disastrous term at an Auckland school. Although happy to be back with her family and friends she is haunted by a shameful secret. Tuaine takes great comfort in sailing to One Foot Island. At first she is perplexed by Adam, a handsome young Australian sailing around the world with his parents. But Adam is fascinated by Tuaine and their friendship soon deepens. One Foot Island becomes their miniature paradise. But will it last? 


The Pearl Of One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

The Pearl Of One Foot Island by Graeme Lay

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Adam's parents have sent him away from Aitutaki to attend uni in Melbourne. But the real reason behind their decision is their disapproval of Adam's and Tuaine's growing relationship. Worried that her letters to Adam are unanswered, and still fighting to defend her reputation after her disastrous term in Auckland, Tuaine struggles to concentrate on her looming exams. Then she suffers a devastating blow from within her own family... The Pearl of One Foot Island is the dramatic conclusion to Graeme Lay's captivating trilogy about Tuaine Takamoa, a beautiful and sensitive young woman growing up in the Cook Islands.

American Samoa

American Samoa
The Girl in the Moon Circle by Sia Figiel

The Girl in the Moon Circle by Sia Figiel

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The Girl in the Moon Circle, like the cover drawing, shows Samoan life through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl called Samoana. Though young, Samoana is perceptive, not much escapes her analysis. She tells us about school, church, friends, family violence, having refrigerators and television for the first time, Chunky cat food, a Made-in-Taiwan Jesus, pay day, cricket, crushes on boys, incest, legends and many other things. Her observations offer a compelling look at Samoan society. Often fiction allows authors to tell truths that otherwise would be too painful; Sia Figiel is uninhibited. Her prose, in English and Samoan, hurtles readers toward the end of the book. Sia Figiel, herself, has mesmerized audiences around the Pacific Islands with readings from The Girl in the Moon Circle.

Australlia

Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis

Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis

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Danny lives on a cattle station in the middle of the Australian outback, where everyone’s getting ready for the annual muster. But this year, everything is different: because Danny’s beloved older brother Jonny has died in a farm accident, and nobody talks about it: because his fouteen year old sister is pregnant, and about to be packed off to Alice Springs in disgrace: because his mother can’t cope, and has decided to hire a housegirl… and what they get is a wide-eyed English backpacker called Liz. She has no idea what she’s let herself in for. Neither do they.


Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time by Doris Pilkington, Nugi Garimara

Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time by Doris Pilkington, Nugi Garimara

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          The remarkable true story of three young girls who cross the harsh Australian desert on foot to return to their home. 
           Following an Australian government edict in 1931, black aboriginal children and children of mixed marriages were gathered up by whites and taken to settlements to be assimilated. In Rabbit-Proof Fence, award-winning author Doris Pilkington traces the captivating story of her mother, Molly, one of three young girls uprooted from her community in Southwestern Australia and taken to the Moore River Native Settlement. At the settlement, Milly and her relatives Gracie and Daisy were forbidden to speak their native language, forced to abandon their aboriginal heritage, and taught to be culturally white. After regular stays in solitary confinement, the three girls scared and homesick planned and executed a daring escape from the grim camp, with its harsh life of padlocks, barred windows, and hard cold beds.
           The girls headed for the nearby rabbit-proof fence that stretched over 1,000 miles through the desert toward their home. Their journey lasted over a month, and they survived on everything from emus to feral cats, while narrowly avoiding the police, professional trackers, and hostile white settlers. Their story is a truly moving tale of defiance and resilience.


The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean

Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy

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           Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.
           At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.
           Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.
          This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself. 


The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean

The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean

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When her mother dies from a snake bite, Comity Pinny's life in the middle of the Australian outback changes for ever. Her father, Herbert, retreats into his work transmitting telegrams, abandoning Comity when she needs him most. Comity turns to Fred, the young Aboriginal yard boy, and he becomes her only friend. But then a new assistant arrives who delights in playing cruel games. Soon Comity struggles to hold things together as events begin to spiral dangerously out of control. 


On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

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           I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.
          Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs—the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.
          And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother—who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.
           The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.


Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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           When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth... 
           Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.
           Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.


Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne

Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne

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'Deadly, unna?' He was always saying that. All the Nungas did, but Dumby more than any of them. Dumby Red and Blacky don't have a lot in common. Dumby's the star of the footy team, he's got a killer smile and the knack with girls, and he's a Nunga. Blacky's a gutless wonder, needs braces, never knows what to say, and he's white. But they're friends... and it could be deadly, unna? This gutsy novel, set in a small coastal town in South Australia is a rite-of-passage story about two boys confronting the depth of racism that exists all around them. 


Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

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           Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft – and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he doesn’t have to worry about girls. 
           Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.
            Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies ... but now it looks like he’s been watching the wrong ones.


Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

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          When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.
          So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.


Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher 

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher 

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It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 


Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.


The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub 

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub 

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Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.

The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?

The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …

The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.

The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?

The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.

Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?


Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle

Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle

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Nineteen minutes and eleven seconds separated us at birth. On the official documentation, he is older . . . Although it really has nothing to do with age. What it really means is that I am, and have always been, second.

Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they'd surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning.

Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.

Breathing Under Water is a lyrical and emotionally powerful novel about life, death and learning to breathe in between.


When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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Before Mina, my life was like a completed jigsaw puzzle but Mina has pushed the puzzle onto the floor. I have to start all over again, figuring out where the pieces go.

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats. 
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.


Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

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           For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar.
           Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.
           But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.
           Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.
Wishes were not a thing.
They were not.
Correction.
Wishes were a thing.
Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.
Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!
Were they?