> Skip to content

An unmissable novel from the award-winning author of THE STORY OF TOM BRENNAN

'Last Friday, September 6th, I collided with adulthood. I lost my innocence - but not like the soppy love songs say. It was more like a slap across the face with a wet hand. I can still feel the sting.'

On Damon Styles' eighteenth birthday, he is expelled from school. His stories have won prizes yet they're full of gore and death. He breaks school property, has threatened a teacher and the Principal wants him off the campus. But it's that morning when Damon leaves Strathven High School that everything changes...

Now Damon must come up with a plan. It's the only way he can think straight about what's happened. First, get his firearms licence. See if the Pigman will give him a job - pig hunting with Miro will teach Damon what he needs to know. And get a lock for the cupboard so his mother won't find what he's hiding in there.

J.C. Burke is back - and back to the style of book for which she won the CBCA Award for THE STORY OF TOM BRENNAN: a confronting, powerful story for older young adults, from the first-person perspective of a boy who's decided to take things into his own hands - but the problem is, so has the town of Strathven.


J.C Burke's impressive track record continues with her new book. It may attract some controversy but it also raises awareness of the issues of bullying and boys ... Burke doesn't hold back with Damon's narrative. It's hard-hitting, shocking and brutally honest ... Burke captures the emotions of a victim being pushed to the edge and lets the readers make up their own mind about him. You won't be forgetting Damon in a while ... PIG BOY is an intelligent novel that pushes you out of your comfort zone. A riveting book that's hard to put down. Highly recommended for ages 15 and up.

Oliver Phommavanh, Buzz Words Books

I haven't been this impressed with a main character in quite some time ... But it's not just Damon who shines in PIG BOY . . . JC Burke has created an absolutely unforgettable cast of characters in PIG BOY, and I have no doubt that this confronting book will appeal to everyone who has ever felt like the world is against them.

Holly Harper, Children's Book Specialist, www.readings.com.au

There were moments reading PIG BOY that I could barely breathe, such was the tension. There were moments when I was put in mind of Robert Cormier, as the reading journey grew darker. There was never a moment when I wanted to put down this taut story about small town perceptions and prejudices ... JC Burke is at her best writing challenging, thought-provoking novels for older readers.


Burke transforms what looks like a bullied in school story to a tension stayed thriller that asks bigger questions about the nature of violence and revenge.

Ernie Tucker, Choices for English: Books, Films and Other Texts That Work

Winner, Best Crime Fiction 2012

Ned Kelly Awards

Longlisted for the Golden Inky 2011

Inky Awards

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 2, 2011

    Woolshed Press

    336 pages

    RRP $19.99

    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


    May 2, 2011

    RHA eBooks Child

    336 pages

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • Ned Kelly Awards
    Best Crime Fiction

Also by J.C. Burke

Pretty Girl
Ocean Pearl
Starfish Sisters
Faking Sweet
The Story Of Tom Brennan
Nine Letters Long
The Red Cardigan


The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
The Thirst
Make Me
Fool Me Once
The Girl on the Train
Alice-Miranda in Japan 9
Noughts & Crosses
Two Nights
A Stranger in the House
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
The Child
The Girl Who Was Taken
Midnight Jewel
Final Girls
The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay
Never Never
Two Wolves