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A novel about love and the things you can and can't change, from the winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for young adult fiction, Sue Saliba.

A novel about love and the things you can and can't change, from the winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for young adult fiction, Sue Saliba.
'I want to tell you that he's coming home. . . and it's going to be like it was before he went away, before everything broke apart.'

Nella waits for the swallows by the creek each spring. It's a secret vigil she's followed ever since her father left.

This year she's going to take him with her . . . but can we ever return to the way things were?

A novel about love and the things you can and can't change, from the winner of the Victorian's Premier's Literary Award for young adult fiction.

Praise for Sue Saliba's novels:
For the forest of a bird

'Highly recommended . . . In this delicate, finely balanced tale, Sue Saliba explores grief, loss and the inevitability of change.' Good Reading Magazine

'Quietly unfolding through sparse, beautifully written sentences, is a friendship between two like-minded girls who dive deep into the natural world. Birds and forests, loss and love. It's one of those novels where 'not much happens' and yet so much does. The title - For The Forest of A Bird - is taken from Judith Wright's poem 'The Birds' and it was the carefully chosen name that drew me to this book. Looking at the jacket once finished, I couldn't help but feel this is a novel that is as precious and rare as the birds and native forests Nella and her new friend Isobel explore. Highly recommended for keen, sensitive readers of 12 and up.' Books in Print

'Saliba's latest book is a beautiful poetic dream of consciousness story of a young girl's love, sadness, resilience and acceptance of the things she cannot change. It is a story about growing up. This is a novel that quietly sings. Highly recommended 13+.' Reading Time: Children's book news and reviews from the Children's Book Council of Australia

'Everybody should discover Sue Saliba. Her novels are such special things – they make you think differently and laterally about language and form, her young characters deal with such heavy emotions but are lightened by their connection to nature and family. For the Forest of a Bird is another beautiful outing by this superb Australian author – I loved it, and ate up the words in one afternoon. 5/5' Alphareader blog

Shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, 2012
Shortlisted for the APA Design Awards for Best Children's Cover, 2012
Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book, 2012

'Saliba has written an elegiac, wise and moving novel.' Cameron Woodhead, The Saturday Age
'Alaska is a gorgeous, gorgeous book. it's breathless and aching and it completely captures that swirl of coming-of-age emotions. the fear and hope and vulnerability we all feel. the fleeting moments of deep happiness pitched against the uncertainties of the world and your place in it…this book is brave and true and full of heart and soul…i completely loved Alaska.' Nomes,inkcrush

'There are books imbued with a certain kind of magic. There are books we read and then, then, there are books that invite complete immersion. A gift from an Author to a reader, to give words that have texture and fluidity, richness and depth, a narrative that invites participation and hides the world around us behind a veil of enchantment… Alaska… is such a book.' The Book Gryffin

'Evoked clearly and brilliantly even through third person is Mia's voice. Her tone is quietly intense, sometimes almost melancholy, and full of wonder… Everything about this book is completely gorgeous. The prose, the story, the message; even the design…Alaska is a quietly powerful story that could teach anyone lessons about appreciating the world and the people around us. A definite must-read.' Skye Handley
'After I first saw and heard of Alaska, I couldn't wait to read it... it seemed to be such a different book, so beautiful and intriguing... and I wasn't let down, but lifted up - it was very different from the brief description's I'd read, there is so much more to it and I loved it!... I adored how Sue brought across the Conservation side of the story and it made it a truly amazing read… ' Romi, Where The Writer Comes To Write
'I loved how atmospheric the prose was - it leaps and bounds, free from the restraints of capital letters and rules. There is also this quiet intensity about it that invites you into Mia's world, into Alaska.' Cass, Words on Paper
'Alaska is a dazzling novel. It's poignant, heart wrenching and encapsulates the emotions and vulnerability of a young girl as she finds her place in her world.' Cassandra Hole

'Some books shout from the page, strident and bold, demanding to be heard. Other books whisper in your ear. Almost as if to say: 'Come closer. I have something to tell you.' So you lean in, sink into the words, and let yourself be submerged. Alaska is one of the latter. It is a quiet, seemingly simple story, with great emotional depth beneath the plot... There is something almost dream-like about the experience of reading this book – the lyrical flow, the delicate handling of the dialogue, the beauty of the language…
Absolutely beautiful.' Reynje, Melbourne
'Effortless and beautiful, with really spare and graceful writing. One of those wonderful YA books that really captures the pain and loneliness of adolescence (late teens, I'm assuming). Didn't think I'd like it, and it really resonated with me. Not a single excess word or unneeded scene. Really gorgeous.' Suzanne, Perth
'I honestly have not read a more beautiful book in a long time… It's one of those books that reminds you, if you ever forget, why reading is amazing.' Megan Burke, Literary Life
'I fell in love with it instantly.' Launceston Examiner
'Saliba creates a haunting picture of an Australian girl's struggle with loneliness and uncertainty, set on the edge of the remote Alaskan wilderness. Evocative imagery of forest, snow and wildlife strengthen the fabric of a superbly told story, in which the central character finds a way ... to embrace the complexity of human experience and take responsibility for what she has left behind. Judges' Report, Prime Minister's Literary Awards, 2012
Something in the World Called Love
Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, 2009
Best Children's Book Cover, Australian Publishers' Association, 2009
Nominated for Australian Book Review's Favourite Australian Novel, 2009

'… It's beautiful and poetic, short but stuffed with little truths and oh! moments. Something in the World Called Love took out this year's Victorian Premier's Award for Young Adult Fiction. So there.' Simmone Howell, author of Notes from the Teenage Underground and Everything Beautiful

'Esma's journey is moving and increasingly optimistic… the story is captivating. Highly recommended.'Reading Time, Journal of Children's Book Council of Australia

'I'm giving Something in the World Called Love four stars. It was a beautifully written novel, really the writing style is amazing.' Allie, justlistenbookreviews

'… the novel is a beautiful tale about self discovery… (it) encapsulates one of the most important lessons all young adults go through – figuring out which relationships are healthy and worth maintaining and in the process falling deeper in love with life.' Ebonnie Lord, Sentinel Times

'Something in the World Called Love would be a great novella to have in the school library. In the English classroom it could be used to show modern, free, post-structuralist writing that students may be exposed to in tertiary study.' Donna Gardiner, Education Department of WA

'A gentle but fiercely incisive writer, she captures the cruel insecurity of youth and the destructive power of emotional manipulation…' Judges' report, Victorian Premier's Award


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Good Reading Magazine




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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 28, 2015


    208 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    January 28, 2015

    Penguin eBooks (AU YR)

    192 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Sue Saliba

Something in the World Called Love