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I tried to be forgettable. That’s how I survived.’

I tried to be forgettable. That’s how I survived.’

The shadow girl never imagined she'd live on the streets. After her parents disappear, life with her aunt and uncle takes a sinister turn. Terrified that the authorities will believe her uncle over her, she flees. She tricks her way into a new school and pretends to have a loving family. No one knows she sleeps in rail yards, sand dunes and abandoned houses. At school she meets the author she will call on years later. Together they piece together the story of how she survived, who helped her, and the friend she wishes she could have saved.

Thrilling, profound and blackly funny, The Shadow Girl is John Larkin's best and most important novel to date.


Tragic, comic and epic, The Shadow Girl is as devastating as it is inspiring.

Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

The Shadow Girl is a white-knuckled thriller with a sassy main character and a terrifying villain, all bundled in with laugh-out-loud moments and savage examinations of what people believe.

James Roy, author of Hunting Elephants, Town and Anonymity Jones

A compelling tale of lost innocence, truth, lies and survival. John Larkin has created an unforgettable character who will take your breath away.

Jacqueline Harvey, author of the Alice-Miranda series

This is a brave story with dark subject matter but Larkin manages to keep the enthralling plot moving with honest writing and by providing hope as the girl struggles not only to survive but to make something of her against-the-odds existence.

Fiona Purden, Courier Mail

Winner, Prize for Writing for Young Adults

Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2012

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 3, 2011

    Woolshed Press

    416 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


    September 28, 2011

    Random House Australia

    416 pages

    Online retailers

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

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