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Looking for a great read to start out the year? With themes of family, friendship, kindness and compassion, these four compelling contemporary novels are the perfect coming of age tales for any reader.

  • The Year the Maps Changed - Danielle Binks

    Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Just as things feel like they're spinning out of control for Fred, a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government 'safe haven' nearby, and their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.

  • The Boy At the Back of the Class - Onjali Q. Rauf, Pippa Curnick

    Told with heart and humour, this prize-winning middle grade novel is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.

  • As Happy as Here - Jane Godwin

    Three teenage girls from very different backgrounds find themselves sharing a hospital ward, when they witness a crime in the park below their window. A beautiful coming-of-age story about identity, expectation, class, justice, society, fairness, and, above all, kindness.

  • Moon Dog - Jane Elson

    Marcus and Delilah couldn't be more different, but they share a dream: to own a dog of their own. A heart-warming animal tale of bravery and friendship between a lost boy, a daring girl and the dog next door – honest, heartfelt and inclusive.

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