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The Goodbye Year

Emily Gale



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Text Publishing Company
30 August 2022
It’s the start of 2020 and Harper is filled with anticipation about being in the final year of Riverlark Primary. She wants a leadership role, the comfort of her friendship group, and to fly under the radar of Riverlark’s mean-boy.

But one by one things go wrong. When Harper’s best friends are made school captains they are consumed by their roles, while her own role — library captain — is considered second-rate. Then something major throws life off course: her parents take overseas jobs as nurses in a war zone. Harper moves in with Lolly, a grandmother she barely knows — and her five pets, vast collection of old trinkets and very different expectations.

Just as Harper is getting used to Lolly, the pandemic arrives, and her goodbye year is nothing like she’d hoped it would be. Strange things are happening: she wakes in the night in odd places, fixates on an old army badge that seems to have a mind of its own, and on a visit to the school library during lockdown she’s convinced she’s seen a ghost.

Who is haunting her?

Can she get through the anxiety of the pandemic without her mum and dad? And will Harper find a way to be happy with her goodbye year?

The Goodbye Year explores all the trickiness and confusion of the end of primary school and a new stage of life that looms with all its uncertainties and possibilities.
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 1mm
Weight:   1g
ISBN:   9781922458599
ISBN 10:   1922458597
Pages:   256
Publication Date:  
Recommended Age:   From 10 years
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  English as a second language
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Emily Gale's books include The Other Side of Summer and its companion novel I Am Out with Lanterns, the Eliza Boom Diaries, Steal My Sunshine and Girl, Aloud, as well as her recent middle-grade collaboration with friend and fellow author Nova Weetman, Elsewhere Girls.

Reviews for The Goodbye Year

'Timely and vivid, this brilliant book is a warm hug, a rustle of autumn leaves and the last day of term all rolled into one. I loved every minute spent with Harper, her friends, her sometimes-prickly gran, Lolly, her persistent ghost and her dear little trench dog, Hector.' * Fiona Wood, author of How to Spell Catastrophe * 'A time capsule with a dash of mystery, The Goodbye Year encourages kids to be hopeful and brave.I loved it.' * Karys McEwen, author of All the Little Tricky Things * 'A sweet, gentle story about friendship, family...making sense of your world when everything is changing...discovering the past and noticing its connection to your present.' * Readings * 'The Goodbye Year is a beautifully written story that deftly weaves the challenges that Harper is faced with in 2020, into the historical challenges that confronted young people in the past...and shows that no matter what happens we can always rise to the difficulties that face us. A fantastic read for those in upper primary, especially those embarking on their own goodbye year .' * Lamont * 'The Goodbye Year is a great coming-of-age tale that explores themes of resilience and friendship. Gale has really nailed that feeling of being on the cusp of growing up.' * Better Reading * 'A moving story of change and the lives of children as they leave primary school.' * CBCA * 'Written so brilliantly...A book that articulates what so many young people might not be able to voice and reading this will be a beautiful healing experience for them.' * Great Escape Books *

  • Commended for Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2023 (Australia)
  • Long-listed for Children's Novel, Davitt Awards 2023 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Best Children's Fiction, Aurealis Awards 2022 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Educational Chapter Book, Educational Publishing Awards 2023 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Young People's History Prize, NSW Premier's History Awards 2023 (Australia)
  • Winner of Young People's History Prize, NSW Premier's History Awards 2023 (Australia)

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