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A brilliant novel by the best-selling author of Looking for Alibrandi. Winner of the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009.

Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence.

But Taylor has other things on her mind: a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road ...


This book is brilliant, and should exceed the expectations of even those who loved Alibrandi.

The Canberra Times

The Sydney author of Looking for Alibrandi has crafted another exquisite coming of age novel full of flesh and blood characters you'll have trouble dislodging from your thoughts long after the end ... Marchetta proves herself a master storyteller ... I've been reading on trains for 16 years and never missed my stop - until now ... One to lose yourself in.

Who Weekly

What she writes is always worth waiting for.


Melina Marchetta has a knack for writing stories that swallow you up and refuse to let you go until you've read every last word.

Sydney Morning Herald

This roller coaster ride of a novel grabs you from the first sentence and doesn't let go. You may not be sure where the ride will take you, but every detail - from the complexities of the dual narrative to the pangs of first love - is pitch perfect.

Mary Arnold, Michael L. Printz Award Committee Chair, American Library Association

... you'll be very impressed!


This is Marchetta's most sophisticated novel; it opens cryptically and is imbued with subtle mystery that crisply unfolds in uncluttered, evocative prose ...

The Australian

... time flashes forward ... histories bleed together and two generations of friends bear uncanny resemblances to one another. Readers may feel dizzied and disoriented, but ... they will find themselves ensnared in the story's fascinating, intricate structure. A beautifully rendered mystery.


Suspenseful plotting, slowly unravelling mysteries, and generations of romance shape the absorbing novel.

Horn Book Review

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    February 1, 2010


    304 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    August 28, 2006

    Penguin eBooks

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • WAYRBA Children's Choice Awards
    Older Readers

Also by Melina Marchetta