ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- As in her previous award-winning novel Lenny's Book of Everything, Foxlee doesn't shy away from difficult topics. In this finely written book, she deals with domestic emotional abuse (violence is hinted at, but never explicitly described) and unresolved grief. Pip is ten, and her mother's boyfriend controls the household. She has learnt to read his moods and disappear into her room every night; her Mum has become silent and rarely shows her true self. One evening, as Pip avoids going home she finds a very ill baby dragon. From the very beginning she knows just what it is and does everything she can to nurse it back to health. The voice of her best friend Mika guides her; he moved away the year before and Pip misses him dreadfully. Over the course of a week, as Pip has to rely on two classmates to care for Little Fella, she finds she can read moods and emotions with increasing certainty, and she learns to both reach out for help herself, and the resilience to understand that the future will be better. Set in Mt Isa, with its heat and red dirt and ancient landscape, where the existence of a dragon seems natural, this is a powerful but almost paradoxically gentle novel, full of heart and strength and ultimately, healing. Ages 9-12. Lindy
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and young adults. She grew up in the Australian outback mining town of Mount Isa and still frequently dreams she is walking barefoot along the dry Leichhardt River. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen's first novel for children, was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl, won the Readings Children's Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA short-listed the same year. Her next book was the internationally successful, Lenny's Book of Everything, which has won multiple awards including the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the Indies Book Award, the Queensland Literary Award, was a CBCA Honour Book and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn't looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing, day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.
'Dragon Skin is a book to make us believe in mysterious openings and infinite possibilities. It reminds us that love is what we need to save things.' Edwina Wyatt, award-winning author of The Secrets of Magnolia Moon 'I loved this story. It's a delicate, heartwarming tale of friendship, healing and hope.' Bren MacDibble, award-winning author of How to Bee 'Dragon Skin explores what it really means to love, to nurture and to let go. This book will make your heart burst with courage and hope.' Leanne Hall, award-winning author of Iris and the Tiger 'Karen Foxlee is skilled at writing brave yet vulnerable young characters who steal readers' hearts forever, and Dragon Skin is no different ... Perfect for those looking for a truly unique book and will especially appeal to readers who love adventures that are embedded with contemporary concerns. A magical tale that proves what you most need to survive is love.' Books+Publishing 'Karen Foxlee really is a genius of a writer - so adept at whimsy, heart and utterly relatable characters. I believe her writing is ageless in the sense that it is accessible to all ages and her stories are so full of meaning ... It is a pretty amazing feat to accomplish that all in a children's novel that can actually be enjoyed by kids. I think she is fast taking first place in my mind for Middle Fiction writers (a position Kate Di Camillo has held for many years)!' Alison Williams, A&U Children's Product Manager 'Karen Foxlee has a gift for writing about courage, love, fear, anxiety and isolation - always with a sense of hope and rays of goodness. The friendships that developed in the story were moving and believable, and a reminder that we often have a very skewed perception of other people. I absolutely loved it.' Liz Christie, A&U SA Account Manager