> Skip to content
  • Published: 30 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143785613
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

Stone Girl

A heartbreaking novel of raw survival and hope, and the children society likes to forget. Stone Girl is the powerful and moving story of Sophie, who becomes a ward of the state.
Winner of the 2019 Readings YA Book Prize.

An unspeakable event changes everything for Sophie. No more Mum, school or bed of her own. She’s made a ward of the state and grows up in a volatile world where kids make their own rules, adults don’t count and the only constant is change.

Until one day she meets Gwen, Matty and Spiral. Spiral is the most furious, beautiful boy Sophie has ever known. And as their bond tightens she finally begins to confront what happened in her past.

I’m at the police station. There’s blood splattered across my face and clothes. In this tiny room with walls the colour of winter sky I hug a black backpack full of treasures. Only one thing is certain . . . no one can ever forgive me for what I’ve done.

Winner of the Readings YA Book Prize, 2019

Voted the Best Young Adult Book of the year by Readings customers

Voted Favourite YA Read of the year by Kids’ Book Review

Voted in the top 100 great reads by Australian women

Shortlisted for New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature, 2019

Contains mature content. Suitable for older readers.

  • Published: 30 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143785613
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Eleni Hale

Eleni Hale was a reporter at the Herald Sun, a communications strategist for the union movement and has written for many print and online news publications. Her short story fig was published as part of the ABC’s In their branches project and she has received three Varuna awards. She lives in Melbourne, and is currently working on her second book. Stone Girl is her first novel.

Praise for Stone Girl

Hale has written a novel that is so much more than just a fantastic book. This is a book that gives a voice to the forgotten ones, the kind of book a child stuck in the system might pick up and feel some hope after reading it. And maybe, just maybe some real change will occur. (Five stars)


Gripping, eloquent, and realer than real, Stone Girl will break your heart into a million tiny pieces, then quietly put it back together again.

Nicole Hayes

Sophie’s raw, honest voice will capture your heart. Ages 15+. (Voted in the Top Ten Best YA Books of 2018.)


A heartbreaking, powerful and empowering read. I would recommend it for those 14 and over who are fans of Melina Marchetta, Jennifer Niven or Angie Thomas, or who are interested in social justice issues. (The Younger Sun bookshop’s Book of the Month, July 2018; Shortlisted for the Younger Sun's 2018 Book of the year.)

The Younger Sun bookshop

Stone Girl blew me away! It's the best YA debut I've read in a long time. Utterly unforgettable. Hale spills the blood of raw experience across the pages . . . Eleni Hale's prose is stunning, her analogies fresh, her writing raw and uncensored. . . This is an important book. It exposes a world few of us understand and teaches us about humanity along the way.

Hayley Lawrence, acclaimed author of Inside the Tiger, Good Reads

One hell of a ride . . . Dark, raw, confronting, but oh so important . . . heartbreaking and like nothing else I have ever read before . . . incredibly compelling. . . I found myself unable to put it down because of Hale’s raw but stunning prose. . . a confronting #LoveOzYA debut you won’t want to miss.

Tanaya Lowden, Booktopia blog

A heartbreaking, authentic and exceptionally written story.

Fleur Ferris

Debut author Eleni Hale has created a remarkable, captivating and courageous narrative.

Diva Book Nerd

This brutal story of drug addiction and life inside these (foster) homes can be hard to read, frustrating and downright scary, but you never stop hoping the troubled Sophie can dig herself out.

Paul Hunter, Herald Sun, Melbourne

A compassionate exploration of young people who fall through the cracks, who feel worthless and act out in an attempt to feel powerful in the face of helplessness and apathy. It is harrowing and gritty but with so much heart. Highly recommended.

Kate Murdoch

It gripped me from the very first page and I couldn't put it down. (Connie’s YA Book of the Month)


Awards & recognition

Readings Book Prize

Winner  •  2019  •  Young Adult

NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Shortlisted  •  2019  •  Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature

Sisters in Crime Davitt Award

Longlisted  •  2019  •  Best Young Adult Crime Novel

International Book Awards

Winner  •  2020  •  Fiction: Young Adult

Discover more

Teachers' notes