The Year the Maps Changed
'I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that's another way maps lie, because it felt like the distance travelled was a whole lot further than that.'Sorrento, Victoria - 1999 Fred's family is a mess. Fred's mother died when she was six and she's been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop is at the Rye Rehabilitation Centre recovering from a fall; Luca's girlfriend, Anika, has moved in; and Fred's just found out that Anika and Luca are having a baby of their own. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.But even as the world feels like it's spinning out of control, a crisis from the other side of it comes crashing in. When 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrive in the middle of the night to be housed at one of Australia's 'safe havens' on an isolated headland not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family, as she navigates one extraordinary year that will change them all.A middle-grade coming-of-age story about the bonds of family and the power of compassion for fans of The Bone Sparrow, Wolf Hollow and The Thing About Jellyfish.

The Year the Maps Changed Details

TitleThe Year the Maps Changed
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 28th, 2020
PublisherLothian Children's Books
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Family, Contemporary, Young Adult, Coming Of Age

The Year the Maps Changed Review

  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Winifred was eleven and living with her adoptive father Luca – a policeman - and until recently her Pop. But then Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son Sam moved in and suddenly Winifred (who was called Fred, Freddo and Winnie) felt her house was crowded. She’d lost her mother Maria when she was six and still missed her terribly and didn’t want Sam or Anika in her house. Pop was at a Rehabilitation Centre recovering from the fall he’d had, and Winifred visited him every weekend, and Wednesdays aft Winifred was eleven and living with her adoptive father Luca – a policeman - and until recently her Pop. But then Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son Sam moved in and suddenly Winifred (who was called Fred, Freddo and Winnie) felt her house was crowded. She’d lost her mother Maria when she was six and still missed her terribly and didn’t want Sam or Anika in her house. Pop was at a Rehabilitation Centre recovering from the fall he’d had, and Winifred visited him every weekend, and Wednesdays after school. Winifred had a few friends at school and was close to Jed who lived next door. Aiden was another friend and soon Sam joined the group. Their teacher, Mr Khouri taught geography and maps which Winifred was fascinated by, and he always told them “Not all those who wander are lost” which stuck in Winifred’s mind. But more was to take their interest when they found out 400 refugees were to be arriving and housed in a “safe haven” nearby. As events changed around them, Winifred felt cut adrift. But she felt inside that she had a purpose and when a particular person made an impact on her life, she went with what she felt was right. What would be the result of the year that changed everything for Winifred?The Year the Maps Changed by Aussie author Danielle Binks is set in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and gives us a look at one turbulent year in a young girl’s life in which things change, family merges, sadness and tragedy occurs, and she begins to mature. A story of family, love, compassion and right from wrong, The Year the Maps Changed is a powerful middle grade novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.With thanks to Hachette Children’s Books AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carly Findlay
    January 1, 1970
    I read The Year the Maps Changed almost in one sitting. It was just brilliant. It reminded me of the books I’d get engrossed in as a kid, reading late into the night because I wanted to stay immersed in the story with the characters.Fred is in grade six – and she is struggling to find her place within her family, and also the world. She has an eclectic family – her Mum died when she was six years old, and she lives with her Pop, Luca – her late Mum’s partner, Anika and Sam – Luca’s new partner a I read The Year the Maps Changed almost in one sitting. It was just brilliant. It reminded me of the books I’d get engrossed in as a kid, reading late into the night because I wanted to stay immersed in the story with the characters.Fred is in grade six – and she is struggling to find her place within her family, and also the world. She has an eclectic family – her Mum died when she was six years old, and she lives with her Pop, Luca – her late Mum’s partner, Anika and Sam – Luca’s new partner and her son, a year younger than Fred. Luca and Anika have a baby on the way. I really liked how Danielle wrote a non nuclear family unit, and also such diverse communities – something I didn’t experience growing up in regional Australia in the 1990s. Fred has a really tight friendship group – Aidan, Jed, Keira. While they are mature, aware of worldly issues, they’re still kids – riding their bikes around town, loving Lipsmacker lip gloss and being asked to check in at their parents’ work during school holidays. Fred is trying her best, even though she doesn’t always get things right, and the feeling of disappointing the role models in her life – especially Luca and her teacher Mr Khouri, is a weighty feeling. Fred is very wise – and often says profound things. I loved this line, where she worries about Luca being her father longer than her Mum was alive:“I wonder if there’s a worse feeling than knowing that no matter what you do, you’ll hurt someone you love without meaning to.”In the letter to her readers at the beginning of the book, Danielle said she wrote The Year the Maps Changed as a way of learning something she wanted to know – about the true story of the settlement of Kosovar - Albanian refugees during the Howard-Ruddock leadership on the Mornington Peninsula in 1999. She was the same age as Fred when these refugees arrived, fleeing the war between Kosovo and Serbia in the late 1990s. Fred becomes involved in the refugee community when Luca, a local police officer, volunteers at the safe haven (an old quarantine station). She also befriends a few – Merjeme and Arta who are the same age as Fred and Sam, and Nora – a patient ay the hospital. She learns a few Albanian words through her friendships.Many of the community welcome the refugees, but a few oppose. I loved how Danielle wrote about a 12 year old boy whose family planted negative thoughts about refugees in his mind, but his mind was changed when Fred set the record straight about them, based on Luca’s time volunteering at the safe haven. Geography is a big theme in the book – stemming from the title, and mentioned in most chapters. Mr Khouri, who reminded me of my own favourite teacher (Mrs Crossley), is excellent and asking his students to question what they know. I was moved by many things he taught his students.I finished reading it feeling so satisfied – full of new knowledge for myself, and the feeling that this book – based on historic events – will remain with Danielle’s young readers for a long time. I am so proud of you, Danielle. Read the whole review on my blog: https://carlyfindlay.com.au/2020/04/2...I will be launching Danielle Binks’ book The Year the Maps Changed with Readings online at 6.30 pm on Thursday 30 April. Danielle is my literary agent and she’s become one of my best friends in the three years since I started working with her. She’s my confidante, fashion advisor and curly girl idol, and I was thrilled when she asked me to launch her book. We planned to do it in the Readings children’s store in Carlton, but then COVID-19 happened, so we are doing it online. You can book tickets here. https://www.readings.com.au/event/dan...(I received an uncorrected proof from the publisher as part of my work on Danielle’s launch, but I’ll be sure to buy my own final copy soon!)
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  • ALPHAreader
    January 1, 1970
    Hi. Yes. I'm doing that author thing of rating their own book, sorry and *grimace emoji* This book came out on April 28 in the year 2020 which was not ideal but has been pretty amazing. And if I could just say - thank you to all the booksellers, librarians and readers generally who have taken the time to buy or borrow this book, let alone talk about it on various social-media platforms or review it! That's ... amazing. I've been a book-blogger since 2009 so I don't take lightly the effort of spo Hi. Yes. I'm doing that author thing of rating their own book, sorry and *grimace emoji* This book came out on April 28 in the year 2020 which was not ideal but has been pretty amazing. And if I could just say - thank you to all the booksellers, librarians and readers generally who have taken the time to buy or borrow this book, let alone talk about it on various social-media platforms or review it! That's ... amazing. I've been a book-blogger since 2009 so I don't take lightly the effort of spotlighting a book in any capacity and I'm just really grateful - particularly during these times! So, just - thank you.
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  • Karys McEwen
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a complete delight and a welcome addition to the Australian middle grade fiction landscape. Fred's life is complicated and spinning seemingly out of control. She's a very likeable protagonist that many young people will identify with. Her friendships and family dynamics are relatable and bittersweet. The setting (both time and place) is well-developed through considered descriptions and a solid infusion of research and personal experience. Readers who look for an authentic storyline This book is a complete delight and a welcome addition to the Australian middle grade fiction landscape. Fred's life is complicated and spinning seemingly out of control. She's a very likeable protagonist that many young people will identify with. Her friendships and family dynamics are relatable and bittersweet. The setting (both time and place) is well-developed through considered descriptions and a solid infusion of research and personal experience. Readers who look for an authentic storyline with powerful themes and an interesting backstory will gravitate towards this type of book. It's the kind of novel that advanced middle graders and young deep thinkers will love!
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  • Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Down on the Mornington Peninsula, in the small township of Sorrento, the tides are about to change. It's 1999 and for eleven year old Winifred Owen Ricci, her life is experiencing a shift of seismic proportions. Since losing her mother a few years ago, it's been Fred and her stepfather and police officer Luca against the world, her small family unit including her grandfather, who grieved together and supported one another through the loss of their partner, their mother and their daughter. Luca o Down on the Mornington Peninsula, in the small township of Sorrento, the tides are about to change. It's 1999 and for eleven year old Winifred Owen Ricci, her life is experiencing a shift of seismic proportions. Since losing her mother a few years ago, it's been Fred and her stepfather and police officer Luca against the world, her small family unit including her grandfather, who grieved together and supported one another through the loss of their partner, their mother and their daughter. Luca officially adopted Fred at three years of age but when Anika and her son Sam move into her family home, Fred isn't quite sure where she fits in anymore. Luckily she has the neighbours and best friend Jed, short for Jedi and a nickname given to him by his parents that stuck. Jed has been a part of Fred's life forever, through losing her mum, through her roof climbing escapades and now through Anika and Sam moving into the home she once shared with her mother while her grandfather is in a rehabilitation facility after a fall.It's a quiet part of the world but lately Fred has felt an ache in her chest, the news from overseas blasting in every home across the country, Kosovo Albanian refugees are driven from their homes by the Serbian army, their country left in ruins, destroyed lives and displaced families. The Australian government were adamant that Australia wouldn't help provide refuge but under public pressure, brought the Kosovo Albanian refugees to Australia under the cover of darkness and hid them away in inhumane detention centres. Fred has a beautiful sense of rightness instilled in her, she isn't sure why anyone in town would protest against helping these people flee their wartorn country, like Mister McMillan who owns the cafe on the main strip. For the most part, the people of the Mornington Peninsula are welcoming, including Fred, Anika, Sam and Luca, who is volunteering at the former army barracks now accommodation for the refugee community.Being eleven is dreadful sometimes. Fred is in her final year of primary school, a new younger brother who's not really your brother and another on the way, Fred feeling increasingly isolated as Anika and Luca gently announce that their family is expanding. Fred's world is being turned upside down and she doesn't like it. One. Bit. The Trần family next door are wonderful, especially Jed's mother Vi, who has been a mother figure for Fred and an incredibly warm, maternal woman. Vi and her husband are both Vietnamese and met in Australia after fleeing their homeland. With so many diverse, non nuclear and blended families within our communities, it was wonderful to see Fred and Jed's families so beautifully written with compassion and care.This is very much a coming of age story for Fred but where it differs from most middle grade, is that this isn't only Fred's journey, it's the journey of healing and growing for an entire community through the eyes of an intelligent and astute young woman. I see so much of myself in Fred at that age, learning about the many facets of love, our place within the world and who we want to become. Fred has so many positive role models in her life, Luca and especially Anika. Anika is learning how to parent an almost teen girl and allowed Fred the space to grow and form her own opinions. Although it took a while for Fred to see Anika as someone loving and caring in her life, Anika loved Fred so dearly and is a beautiful example of step parenting written in a positive light.The secondary characters are lovingly created such as Mr Khouri, their geography teacher who created a fun and inclusive learning environment and Nora, who is a heavily pregnant refugee Fred meets at a hospital visit during Anika's pregnancy. Although most of small town Sorrento and the wider community are welcoming, Fred's friend Aiden begins coming to school with the wildly racist opinions of his father, repeating what's being said at home. Seeing Aiden grow and form his own opinions was such an incredible moment and although he respected his father, he begun to see that he wasn't always right and Aiden didn't need to agree. It was a yes! moment that readers will enjoy.This isn't a heavy read by any means, there's plenty of lighthearted moments of mischief and laughter but it also raises serious issues such as asylum seekers and how they're treated as less than, especially in Australia. Australia has a terrible history of colonisation and the treatment of First Nations people, we've learnt nothing about the treatment of people and basic human rights. Our current government is the same government who was in power in 1999, when The Year the Maps Changed takes place, same party with interchangeable white men with money. Heartless bastards, the politicians and those who voted for them. The Year the Maps Changed isn't political, instead it provides middle grade readers with the human side of seeking asylum, Nora and children Merjeme and Arta are the fictional faces of those who have been forced to leave their homeland, travel to a strange, new country and then locked up like petty criminals for seeking safety. It only highlights that we're no better than the governments that we vote for and we desperately need to bring about change for the people that Nora, Merjeme and Arta represent.The Year the Maps Changed is heartachingly beautiful. Danielle Binks has created an exceptional debut novel of warmth, compassion and finding your place in our ever changing world.
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  • Danielle Binks
    January 1, 1970
    So I did not know that people did not know that Alpha Reader on here is also - me! Hi! I partly reviewed my book via my 'proper' Goodreads-user account just to show that - yup, been on here since 2010, book-blogging since 2009. I get it! Maybe I'll take this review space to just say - thank you again, to anyone and everyone who has taken the time to talk about, recommend, buy, read, photograph, review, loan, request, etc. my book - especially in the year 2020, that's BIG and I am so grateful! An So I did not know that people did not know that Alpha Reader on here is also - me! Hi! I partly reviewed my book via my 'proper' Goodreads-user account just to show that - yup, been on here since 2010, book-blogging since 2009. I get it! Maybe I'll take this review space to just say - thank you again, to anyone and everyone who has taken the time to talk about, recommend, buy, read, photograph, review, loan, request, etc. my book - especially in the year 2020, that's BIG and I am so grateful! And to also say that because I've been on Goodreads and book-blogging *so long* - I really do understand that this space in my context as author is not for me. I do understand, truly! I'm trying not to peek (but it's really hard, good golly) I still don't even know if 'liking' reviews of my book is okay? ... I don't know. I'm figuring this side out! I am sorry in advance if future-Danielle ever forgets that this space is not for her as author. And if any of my family or friends do that super inappropriate and not-okay thing of railing against a review/er on here ... NO! STOP! APOLOGISE and LEAVE! This is Danielle talking, you're in the wrong - I don't appreciate or want it! NOOOOOO!Now that's out of the way - thanks again :-)
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Knowing what an intense story this could be, I was surprised at how easy it was to get engrossed into this book. I felt I was able to connect with the characters and really follow the story intently. The themes of this book were so important - from family, to friendship to the issues of refugees, specifically Kosovar-Albanian refugees in the late 90's.  The story really is touching and one that will stay with me for awhile. Written very well and very engaging - highly recommended to readers from Knowing what an intense story this could be, I was surprised at how easy it was to get engrossed into this book. I felt I was able to connect with the characters and really follow the story intently. The themes of this book were so important - from family, to friendship to the issues of refugees, specifically Kosovar-Albanian refugees in the late 90's.  The story really is touching and one that will stay with me for awhile. Written very well and very engaging - highly recommended to readers from 10 years old and up though some parental guidance may be required for some of the themes covered in the book. I really appreciate being part of this blog tour. With many thanks to Hachette Publishers and Aus YA bloggers for providing me with an advance review copy and for having me on board for this blog tour. Review +Q&A with the author is posted on the blog... Congrats again, Danielle!!!
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  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), refugee experiences, (view spoiler)[blood, stillbirth, (hide spoiler)] bigotry towards refugee and minority populations.Review to follow. Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), refugee experiences, (view spoiler)[blood, stillbirth, (hide spoiler)] bigotry towards refugee and minority populations.Review to follow.
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  • Ely
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars*I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia as part of the blog tour organised by AusYABloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.The Year the Maps Changed was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. Not just because it’s Danielle Binks, but also because it’s set in Sorrento, right across the bay from Queenscliff, where I spent all my childhood and teenage summers with my Grandparents. I knew that this book was going to have a special place in my he 4.5 stars*I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia as part of the blog tour organised by AusYABloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.The Year the Maps Changed was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. Not just because it’s Danielle Binks, but also because it’s set in Sorrento, right across the bay from Queenscliff, where I spent all my childhood and teenage summers with my Grandparents. I knew that this book was going to have a special place in my heart. And I was right…It really felt like going back to my childhood summers around that sort of area of Queenscliff, Sorrento, Rosebud and so on. Fred lives there full-time with her family rather than living there just in the summer months, but there was just something so homey about it. No matter where you grew up, I really think Fred’s feelings and experience of Sorrento are the same as any childhood hometown. It just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Whether you’ve been to Sorrento or not, I think the setting really comes to life around the characters.I absolutely loved Fred. She definitely has her not-so-great moments, but she has so much empathy and intelligence—I really think she’s the kind of child protagonist the world needs right now. And despite the book being set in 1999, a lot of things that go on in the story are still going on now. The understanding that Fred and her family have for the refugees in this story should be something we emanate now. I think this is a great way to teach kids about detention centres, especially from the perspective of a character that could relate to.There was definitely a lot more in this book than I was expecting. I was prepared for a funny, sometimes emotional story about a young girl growing up and learning more about the world around her. I didn’t expect it to make me cry as much as it did. I don’t know if I’m just particularly emotional at the moment because of everything going on, but there were a few moments that had me bawling my eyes out—and they were the happy moments. I don’t want to spoil anything obviously, but the level of empathy Fred has just really got to me.This is really filled with so many nuanced emotions—this is a book of hope and sadness and anger at the injustice of the world, both on a personal and community scale. It’s about friendship and family and sticking up for what’s right even against all odds. I hope this finds it’s way into the hands of kids (and adults) everywhere, especially while the world is the way it is.Hope and love can make a difference.
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle BinksThe Year the Maps Changed follows 12-year-old Winniefred “Fred” life in Sorrento, Victoria when 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrive to be kept at one of Australia’s ‘safe havens.’ Unlike most other middle grade novels this coming of age story isn’t about Fred ‘growing up’ but instead its about her dealing with change in the midst of grief. When Fred was six her mother died and has been raised by her Pop and adoptive father Luca — but now Pop is at a re The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle BinksThe Year the Maps Changed follows 12-year-old Winniefred “Fred” life in Sorrento, Victoria when 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrive to be kept at one of Australia’s ‘safe havens.’ Unlike most other middle grade novels this coming of age story isn’t about Fred ‘growing up’ but instead its about her dealing with change in the midst of grief. When Fred was six her mother died and has been raised by her Pop and adoptive father Luca — but now Pop is at a rehabilitation centre recovering from a fall and Luca’s girlfriend, Anika, has moved into Fred’s home with her son Sam and is expecting a baby. Fred has to deal with the idea that she might be left behind cause her family is not her family by blood while learning about being emphatic to people who are different from her.This novel is raw, dealing with serious issues that most children would not deal with in their everyday life. Binks never simplifies the issues of grief or standing up against views against your own —- but at the same time she always reminds us the Fred and her friends are children who understand bits of the world and want to be included in everyday conversation. Fred and her friends are always trying to do their best even though they don’t always get it right and the adults in the novel acknowledge this never once using the phrase ‘when you are older you’ll understand’ in a condescending manner. Binks reminds us the children are aware and can be mature towards worldly issues.Even though the overall plot of the book is Fred becoming involved with the Kosovar-Albanian community that is staying near her town and helping them alongside her father Luca (local police office and volunteer at the safe haven), it is more than that. During the novel Fred deals with the reality that she has lived with her adoptive father longer than her birth mother and feels like she is betraying her mum for loving Luca a bit more. But she also fears that Luca won’t love her as much once the new baby comes into the family dynamic because Luca will finally have a child related to him. I adored that Binks wrote about this because the concept of love is still fairly foreign to children — unaware that its quantity is infinite. It reminded me of my own fears when I was eight and learning that I was going to share my parents’ love with another human being. Its terrifying stuff.Fred’s relationship with her step-brother Sam through out the novel was my favorite sub-plot of the story. Seeing Fred going from calling Sam not her brother who ruined something sacred she had with Luca to giving him a birthday present when everyone else forgot it was his birthday because she loved him in the type of character growth that I wish real people could have. Its a reminder what love and empathy does when you give it time. The family relations on this debut middle grade novel is one that we need in more children books. Reminding us that found families may sometimes be thrusts upon us and it’s okay to be scared about this, but these found families are important to have.Overall this Australia set book is full of kindness, grief and love and confronts real life issues with raw honesty — never once trying to downplay difficult topics or insulting the reader. It is one of those few stories that reminds us that not everything has a perfect happily ever after at the end but there are foundation stones for it if you keep working towards it. The Year the Maps Changed ends in hope and sometimes hope is the perfect ending to difficult times.
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  • Megan Maurice
    January 1, 1970
    Such a beautiful book with so many thought-provoking themes. I can’t wait to share it with my daughter when she’s a bit older. I loved the imagery of maps running through the whole book, as people’s way of making sense of the world, but with the understanding that they were flawed because of the innate subjectivity of them. Having this run through family, friendships and international conflict was a really smart way to make these themes really relatable and accessible for young readers
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  • Pam Saunders
    January 1, 1970
    Maps lie. I am hooked from the first line. I love a map and so too does the main character, Winifred. Winifred to her teacher, Fred to Luca and Pop and Freddo or Winnie to others. Fred is searching for her own place and a map to guide her. As it is set in the Sorrento area of Victoria, some readers will recognise the land marks and some of us older readers will also remember the Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrival too. Fred and her wonderful teacher Mr Khouri will keep the reader turning the pages Maps lie. I am hooked from the first line. I love a map and so too does the main character, Winifred. Winifred to her teacher, Fred to Luca and Pop and Freddo or Winnie to others. Fred is searching for her own place and a map to guide her. As it is set in the Sorrento area of Victoria, some readers will recognise the land marks and some of us older readers will also remember the Kosovar-Albanian refugees arrival too. Fred and her wonderful teacher Mr Khouri will keep the reader turning the pages and thinking about maps and directions too.
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  • Carly Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely adored this #LoveOzMG debut. Full of heart, empathy, friendship and equal parts devastating and beautiful family moments. Fred is such a wonderful main character, going through life at a time where there were so many changes. Not only in the world around her, but also within herself. The setting of the book, in the Mornington Peninsula, is also utilised so well. We had a lot of family holidays in Rosebud when I was a kid, so it's always a nice little jolt when you see something so fam Absolutely adored this #LoveOzMG debut. Full of heart, empathy, friendship and equal parts devastating and beautiful family moments. Fred is such a wonderful main character, going through life at a time where there were so many changes. Not only in the world around her, but also within herself. The setting of the book, in the Mornington Peninsula, is also utilised so well. We had a lot of family holidays in Rosebud when I was a kid, so it's always a nice little jolt when you see something so familiar in a story!Beautiful cover illustration by Astred Hicks too.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy supplied by publisher.Danielle Binks's debut novel is wonderful. Written with a light but confident touch, Binks draws on events and places from her childhood to infuse this coming of age story with an authenticity that is hard to deny. Having grown up in Frankston and frequently visiting locations along the Mornington Peninsula myself, it was lovely to see places I knew popping up. Sphinx Rock, Point Nepean, Sorrento and the enduring Farrell's Bookshop were welcome touchstones all t Review copy supplied by publisher.Danielle Binks's debut novel is wonderful. Written with a light but confident touch, Binks draws on events and places from her childhood to infuse this coming of age story with an authenticity that is hard to deny. Having grown up in Frankston and frequently visiting locations along the Mornington Peninsula myself, it was lovely to see places I knew popping up. Sphinx Rock, Point Nepean, Sorrento and the enduring Farrell's Bookshop were welcome touchstones all the way through.Winnifred (Fred) is a clear and affecting character. Still working her way through the grief of losing her mother five years earlier, she struggles with changes happening in her small family. When we meet Fred, her beloved grandfather Jeff is in hospital. With his steadying presence taken away, Fred finds coping with other changes such as her father's new partner (and her son Sam) even more difficult. Then the Kosovo refugees start arriving.Fred's father, Luca, is a local police officer and Fred finds herself caught up in the plight of the displaced people escaping a war zone as her father is volunteering in the safe haven at Point Nepean. As Fred's life becomes further complicated by the pregnancy of Anika, her father's girlfriend, she becomes more and more anxious about the fate of the refugees.The way the author links these events, and the way they are portrayed shows her prodigious writing talent. Binks has commented that this novel was five years in the making, and the care she has taken shows on every page. Not only are the central characters convincingly realised, the supporting characters such as Fred's teacher Mr Khouri; her friend Jed, and Jed's mum Vi are great and have important things to add to the story. This would be a useful companion read to something like The Bone Sparrow in a school setting. There are sad times, confusing times, happy times and most of all, a big dose of hope contained in these pages. I hope this is a huge hit for Binks because I for one can't wait to read more of her work.Suitable for ages 9 and up.
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  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    Strong sense of time and place. Lovely friendships, complicated family drama.Loved it a lot.
  • Underground Writers
    January 1, 1970
    This review was first published on the Underground Writer's website: http://underground-writers.org/review...Fred has to get used to a lot in 1999—her family is changing and so is her hometown, and there are going to be growing pains. Despite being set over two decades ago, The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks provides a prescient, timely and profoundly kind entry point into Australian issues and politics for intrigued young readers (like its protagonist). It addresses themes of grief, ge This review was first published on the Underground Writer's website: http://underground-writers.org/review...Fred has to get used to a lot in 1999—her family is changing and so is her hometown, and there are going to be growing pains. Despite being set over two decades ago, The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks provides a prescient, timely and profoundly kind entry point into Australian issues and politics for intrigued young readers (like its protagonist). It addresses themes of grief, geography and generosity with a deft hand, through the eyes of a perceptive and caring 11-year-old with many nicknames, and a town that is changed by refugees seeking sanctuary from war.It uses the issues of sharing Australia’s “boundless plains” parallel with sharing your space in a home that your family is quickly outgrowing. It carries the theme of man-made borders throughout, addressing the idea that just because something exists—a country, a place, a city, a house—that it will always be the same. When we chart and map a place it becomes enshrined and viewed as almost permanent, and this book walks its young readers through the concept of spaces being living, vibrant and subject to positive change. It encourages critical thinking about the nature of these spaces, and helps the audience breathe out into the new ones. The friction Fred feels when she learns her family will be changing forever, while she is still in the middle of learning to live without her late mother is one the audience feels as well, and learns to move through with her and her family.For its middle-grade readership, it’s a great opportunity to learn the difference between what is right and what is expected. The Year the Maps Changed encourages its readers to develop their own moral compass and thoughts, independent of peer pressure and informed with deep empathy for others.Well-researched and written with compassion, this book is excellent for young and curious eyes.
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  • Tien
    January 1, 1970
    11 year old Winifred Owen-Ricci felt her world shifting once again. There was that big one when her mother died but this year, her 11th year, she felt her world to lose its smoothness and little bumps and lumps are emerging. Just as she has to adjust herself to her father's new partner and her son moving in, a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees were brought in to a 'safe haven' not far from her town. As her life touches those of the refugees' so begin some little ripples of change but what can a 11 year old Winifred Owen-Ricci felt her world shifting once again. There was that big one when her mother died but this year, her 11th year, she felt her world to lose its smoothness and little bumps and lumps are emerging. Just as she has to adjust herself to her father's new partner and her son moving in, a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees were brought in to a 'safe haven' not far from her town. As her life touches those of the refugees' so begin some little ripples of change but what can an 11 year old girl do to help?The Year the Maps Changed was such an easy and engaging book to read. I was quickly drawn into Winnie's (aka Fred's or Freddo's) world and fell in love... with her parents. It is heartwarming to see a good parental models in MG fiction though not to say that they are perfect but they try and mostly, they do good. The novel primarily is about a child's life in a small town as she struggles to fit in into her new blended family.The novel also dealt with a contemporary issues of refugees. And while it refers specifically to the Kosovar-Albanian ones who came to Australia in 1999, the same issue and concern still exist today in regard to refugees. Even as Winnie is confused about her spot in the family, she and her friends are also curious about the refugees and the reason for the war. Her sympathy engaged, she dared to put out a helping hand.I got my 10 year old boy to read this too but unfortunately, it failed to engage him. He does not think himself as a reader and when he does read, he prefers books with the typical boy humour (a very narrow preference). He thinks it is boring because it's just about everyday life where nothing really happens. He has been very fortunate in having grown up in a rather traditional family structure, I think, that he lacks the appreciation how much a struggle 'everyday life' could be when your family structure & dynamics change. From my perspective (I grew up with older half siblings), this novel has dealt with this issue sensitively and provided a lovely broad perspective of just how it could all work.Life, as we all know, is never a smooth ride. Just as you think to switch the cruise control on, there's a turn or a bump coming up and you'll have to navigate manually. In The Year the Maps Changed, Winnie's world (aka map) was changing and expanding with additional turns, cracks, and bumps. Changes come in all forms and many different directions; from her life's centre (her family) to her friends to worldwide concerns. She is learning to negotiate life inside out, growing and expanding herself to adjust to her new world. Beautifully set by Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, The Year the Maps Changed is a new & gorgeous landmark in all readers' landscapes or it should be!Thanks to Date a Book, Hachette Australia, & Hachette New Zealand for copy of book in exchange of honest review. And thanks, AusYABloggers for organising the tour.
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  • Emily (em_isreading)
    January 1, 1970
    'I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that's another way maps lie, because it felt like the distance travelled was a whole lot further than that.'Fred's family is a mess. Fred's mother died when she was six and she's been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop is at the Rye Rehabilitation Centre recovering from a fall; Luca's girlfriend, Anika, has moved in; and Fred's just found out that Anika and Luca are having a baby of their own. More 'I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that's another way maps lie, because it felt like the distance travelled was a whole lot further than that.'Fred's family is a mess. Fred's mother died when she was six and she's been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop is at the Rye Rehabilitation Centre recovering from a fall; Luca's girlfriend, Anika, has moved in; and Fred's just found out that Anika and Luca are having a baby of their own. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.This #LoveOzMG debut is at once sweet and a little sad. Fred is a highly likeable protagonist, displaying intelligence and compassion far beyond that of a regular tween girl. She has her faults, but ultimately she learns from her errors and has some rad adults guiding her. She has some truly profound moments, there are lessons in this book that some adults I know IRL could do with learning. Fred and her friends and family immediately make the reader feel comfortable in joining their journey. The detail of local colour in this is wonderful, since I moved to Melbourne reading books set in and around the city and the Bay have been a priority for me. From the title, it’s no surprise that the geography of the local area would come into play - I could smell the briny sea, hear the rumble of the 787 bus and I knew what Fred’s house and street looked like. I loved that Fred’s parents play a prominent role in the story, often in Middle Grade and YA the focus is solely on the child protagonist and the adults are conveniently cut out. It was really good to have Fred’s insight to some very adult themes and scenes. Kids pick up on more than we realise, and having the adults be allowed to exist in her world allowed for explanation of those themes.Middle Grade isn’t my usual read, most of you know I am a #LitFic snob. But when a middle grade novel fights through the internet algorithms for me to stumble across it, then I know it’s worth the read. Binks does a tremendous job at dissecting themes of compassion, racism, community, grief and family.
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  • Vanessa Grosso
    January 1, 1970
    The rumours are true, this is a fantastic book. ❤️
  • Claudine Tinellis
    January 1, 1970
    This was an exceptional read. A middle-grade, coming-of-age story that was both compelling and beautifully written. 1999 is a difficult year for main character 11 year-old Winifred, Fred or Freddo, as she is also known throughout the book. Not only is she trying to figure out her place in her newly blended family, she's going through some of her own changes. Then an isolated headland not far from where she lives, becomes a safe haven for 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees.What follows is an extraordi This was an exceptional read. A middle-grade, coming-of-age story that was both compelling and beautifully written. 1999 is a difficult year for main character 11 year-old Winifred, Fred or Freddo, as she is also known throughout the book. Not only is she trying to figure out her place in her newly blended family, she's going through some of her own changes. Then an isolated headland not far from where she lives, becomes a safe haven for 400 Kosovar-Albanian refugees.What follows is an extraordinary year in which the lives of those refugees becomes intertwined with Fred and her family. It's a sensitive, sobering lesson in compassion and social responsibility which I found insightful in light of Australia's current refugee policy. A terrific read for kids and adults alike. Here is a link to my interview with author Danielle Binks on my podcast, "Talking Aussie Books". https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?...Thanks to Hachette for my review copy.
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  • Sarah Fairbairn
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia as part of the blog tour organised by #AusYABloggers, in exchange for an honest review* The Year The Maps Changed is a story of love and family, a story of grief and finding home.Winifred (Fred, Freddo, Winnie) lost her mum when she was only Six and since then it is always just been Fred, Her Pop and her adoptive father Luca – Until Luca’s new girlfriend and her ten-year-old son Sam comes to live with them. Fred does not cope with the chang *I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia as part of the blog tour organised by #AusYABloggers, in exchange for an honest review* The Year The Maps Changed is a story of love and family, a story of grief and finding home.Winifred (Fred, Freddo, Winnie) lost her mum when she was only Six and since then it is always just been Fred, Her Pop and her adoptive father Luca – Until Luca’s new girlfriend and her ten-year-old son Sam comes to live with them. Fred does not cope with the change very well but keeps all her emotions bottled inside. When Luca & Anika announce they are having a baby, it makes Fred feel left out and lost – it makes her feel that there is no room left for her. The story follows POV character Fred as she comes to terms with her new family and learns about the refugees coming to her little part of the world and how unfair life can be. The story starts with Fred being 11 years old, but by the end she has turned 12, with the story being set out over the year of 1999. I was 12 in 1999! and have vague memories of the Kosovo Albanians being taken to Point Nepean and other places in Australia. It gave the story this extreme depth, the true events mixed in with Danielle Binks fantastic story telling. The whole way through while Fred is coming to terms with her new family, there is the refugee storyline unfolding – which I do not want to talk too much about and spoil the story. BUT I will say that two people Fred knows very well end up in trouble for helping an escaped refugee that Fred develops a special friendship with.POV Fred is a smart, kind and caring girl who gets a little lost but manages to emotionally find her way home to the people she loves and embrace her new bigger family life. It is impossible not to fall for Fred and her family. I loved seeing, or rather feeling, Fred mature and grow into a beautiful little lady throughout the course of this story. It was really touching watching Sam and Fred slowly growing closer and developing a real brother and sister bond. But my favourite part of the story had me crying! When Fred comes to the realisation that Anika loves her and that is okay to love Anika back, that loving Anika like a mum, was not going to mean she would forget her mum or love her mum any less. Oh how my heart exploded with love.This was a truly touching story that will stay with me and one I intend to share with my boys when they are a little older.
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  • allieereads
    January 1, 1970
    The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks is a stunning middle-grade coming-of-age story about Fred (Winnifred), family, love, identity and belonging. It is a beautiful exploration of families and self-identity occurring in the context of 1999, where the world is being urged to welcome Kosovar-Albanian refugees as their homeland is being ravaged by war. Though these two seemingly separate stories, the way in which they become intimiately interweaved is breathlessly beautiful. Fred is a wonderf The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks is a stunning middle-grade coming-of-age story about Fred (Winnifred), family, love, identity and belonging. It is a beautiful exploration of families and self-identity occurring in the context of 1999, where the world is being urged to welcome Kosovar-Albanian refugees as their homeland is being ravaged by war. Though these two seemingly separate stories, the way in which they become intimiately interweaved is breathlessly beautiful. Fred is a wonderfully flawed protagonist. I adored reading from her perspective. We properly meet Fred in the aftermath of her biological mother dying, but having been adopted by her step-Father, Luca. Her family was Luca and her Pop (mother's father). But when Luca meets Anika who has a son named Sam, Fred finds that her small family has suddenly grown and finds herself feeling as though she does not belong, especially when Fred finds out that Anika is pregnant. What is her place in this family, where she has not biological relation to any except for her grandfather?Fred is a wonderful voice and the development her character is done so naturally. Where little interactions between Fred and Sam, for instance, demonstrate a growing up, an understanding of her place in this 'new' family. Of how her 'maps' are changing everyday.My favourite character, however, would have to be Mr Khouri. I loved him. I wish I would have had him as a teacher myself because he would have irrevocably changed how I understood the world. Mr Khouri is Fred and Sam's primary teacher (in this case, Fred and Sam are in a composite class where grade 5 and 6's are placed in the same class) who is open and honest to his class about the current global issues. Mr Khouri is the one who introduces the idea that maps or geography are more than just lines or names on a page in an Atlas. Remind me; what is geography really about?''Human beings,' I whispered, and then a little louder when Mr Khouri raised an eyebrow at me. 'Human beings, and how we move across the Earth's surface.'Mr Khouri nodded. 'And human beings can rarely be contained simply be drawing lines on a piece of paper, forcing them together or tearing them apart now, can they?'Contextually, this story is happening during the Kosovo War (very simply, the Albanian-Serbian conflict) that occurred between 1998-1999. In the aftermath of the NATO bombings, countries around the world are urged to open up their borders in order to welcome refugees from the conflict. After recieving backlash after claiming that Australia will not welcome refugees, Prime Minister John Howard (i still hate him) decides to allow 4000 refugees into Australia where 400 of those refugees were to be placed at a Quarantine Station in Point Napean, Portsea (which is on the Victorian peninsula seen in the map below). Now, Australia took on these refugees with the ridiculously inhumane notion that it was only temporary and the government was incredibly forceful in ensuring that the refugees returned to their wartorn and destroyed homeland after the war was over. The government even paid $500,000 thousand to 'educate' the refugees to teach them how to avoid landmines. The Year the Maps Changed show this, whilst also showing the racism, casual agression and the impact of the popular media in fostering negative emotions towards the refugees in Fred's hometown. The way Fred's life and that of her family's become interwoven with the lives of these refugees is stunningly depicted. I cried many times whilst reading this book because it has such a depth of emotionality that surprised me. Though Fred's situation was completely different, you still have a story about a young girl feeling displaced in her own home, wondering if who she is and if she belongs alongside characters who are displaced from their home country because of a war and in fear to go back. Binks' writing is exceptional. That is all I have to say about that. I found the narrative to be very authentic to a young girl's voice as well as her relations and interactions with her friends, especially in the way growing up naturally changes friendship groups, etc. Honestly, I would absolutely love to see what Binks could do for a young adult or even adult audience, because the writing was just so well crafted espeically for the audience and age that the book is geared towards. I loved this book and gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 only because I wish it was slightly longer. I felt that the last 50 pages or so felt rushed and though the ending was beautiful, I felt slightly unsatisfied because I wanted more. I highly highly recommend this book to everyone, and I urge my Australian friends to put this book on your TBR because it is incredibly relevant and important especially in our current political and cultural climate.
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  • Selina
    January 1, 1970
    “Lately I’ve been wondering what piece mum took with her when she died, and I’d been thinking of the Winnie I would have been if she hadn’t.” 💔 ⁣⁣Winifred (Fred, Freddo or Winnie, depending on who you ask) is 11 years old, and her messy life is about to get more complicated. Her mum died when she was just 6, and her adoptive dad Luca and grandpa Pop have been taking care of her ever since. She’s trying to sort through her grief, confusion and loneliness. But just when she thinks she may have a h “Lately I’ve been wondering what piece mum took with her when she died, and I’d been thinking of the Winnie I would have been if she hadn’t.” 💔 ⁣⁣Winifred (Fred, Freddo or Winnie, depending on who you ask) is 11 years old, and her messy life is about to get more complicated. Her mum died when she was just 6, and her adoptive dad Luca and grandpa Pop have been taking care of her ever since. She’s trying to sort through her grief, confusion and loneliness. But just when she thinks she may have a handle on the changed landscape, the wind is knocked out of her again. Luca’s partner Anika and her son Sam are moving in! Fred suddenly feels like the third wheel in their new little family unit. ⁣⁣Amidst all this, their community is shaken up by the arrival of a group of Kosovar - Albanian refugees, escaping war and persecution in their homeland to settle in the ‘Haven’. ⁣⁣What follows is a tumultuous year, filled with peaks and valleys as Winnie and her newly formed family unit and friends weather the complicated terrain of growing up in a small Aussie community, figuring out the difference between what’s right under the eyes of the law versus deep down in their gut. ⁣⁣What they’ll discover is putting prejudice, hate and discrimination aside, people all over the world, regardless of their background, age or visa status know deep down where they belong, and they don’t really need a map to tell them where that is, or how to get there. This is a great book for middle grade readers! I think they’ll really connect with the characters and discover some great information in an age appropriate way. Thanks to @ausyabloggers @hachetteaus and @dateabook for the opportunity to review and @dbinks for writing an awesome book! 🥰
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  • Nadia King
    January 1, 1970
    'The Year The Maps Changed' is a lovely middle-grade book by agent, reviewer and Victorian writer, Danielle Binks. I have to admit to really, really wanting to read this one as soon as I heard about it.Fred’s in her last year of primary school and her dad (he’s adoptive, yep, it’s complicated) is having a baby with his girlfriend, Anika. Anika has a son called Sam who is now supposed to be a new brother for Fred. Throw in a poorly grandad and the mix becomes quite messy. I really like Fred – I l 'The Year The Maps Changed' is a lovely middle-grade book by agent, reviewer and Victorian writer, Danielle Binks. I have to admit to really, really wanting to read this one as soon as I heard about it.Fred’s in her last year of primary school and her dad (he’s adoptive, yep, it’s complicated) is having a baby with his girlfriend, Anika. Anika has a son called Sam who is now supposed to be a new brother for Fred. Throw in a poorly grandad and the mix becomes quite messy. I really like Fred – I like that her feelings make her a bit uncomfortable and that she’s a bit difficult (aren’t we all?).There’s a lot to like about this book:12 year-old Fred who I’ve already mentioned, she’s such a relatable kid. Plus, her teacher Mr Khouri is brilliant;The way Binks has sketched out a vivid sense of place for the backdrop of this story. Place is integral to the plot and even though I’m not familiar with the Victorian coastline, I didn’t have any trouble imagining the little coastal town of Sorrento or the range of opinions in the community;The time period of the book – the story takes place in 1999 at an interesting point in Australian politics and Binks manages to make the political landscape accessible to middle-grade readers – not an easy thing to do, but she does it with aplomb;The diverse and interesting cast of characters, especially the juxtaposition between ‘new Australian’ Vietnamese refugees and the Kosovar-Albanian refugees seeking a ‘safe haven’;The realness of the story without it ever seeming too harsh, although there is plenty of grimness painted here, Binks presents it in a palatable form for a young readership. Also, I may have wiped away a tear or two and I rarely cry reading books.All in all, this is a terrific book. Binks uses geography and cartography to tell a story about a particular time in Australia’s history and opens up a lot of questions, especially around who we are as a people, and who we aspire to be. Such questions are reflected in the choices the characters make, and none more so, than the choices Fred makes.Highly recommended reading and one that’s not just for the kids.
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  • Kat Schrav
    January 1, 1970
    This story packed a punch I wasn't prepared for. An insightful novel that examines topical historical events in Australian history with a side of family/friendship relationships that are incredibly poignant. I must be a similar age to this author as I remember many of the things discussed in this book being topical in my teenage years and there was a great sense of nostalgia for Australian culture/childhood that I haven't felt since Marchetta's 'Looking for Alibrandi'. A novel you'll read in one This story packed a punch I wasn't prepared for. An insightful novel that examines topical historical events in Australian history with a side of family/friendship relationships that are incredibly poignant. I must be a similar age to this author as I remember many of the things discussed in this book being topical in my teenage years and there was a great sense of nostalgia for Australian culture/childhood that I haven't felt since Marchetta's 'Looking for Alibrandi'. A novel you'll read in one sitting and perfect for sharing with students Year 6 and up who are fans of John Boyne, Morris Glietzman, Jackie French and Nova Weetman.
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  • Star
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my opinions.This was such a lovely story. I was 13 in 1999, so I remember bits and pieces of the events that occur in this book, but this was so wonderfully written. I definitely cried while reading this too (if you've read it, you'll know when).Full review and thoughts to come on the publication date (28th April)5/5 stars
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  • Nola B
    January 1, 1970
    'I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that's another way that maps don't tell the whole truth- because it felt like the distance I travelled was a lot further than that". And Winifred, or Fred, did experience so much more than a girl her age would normally go through. She'd already lost her Mum,had to adapt to her step-dad having a new wife and son and had to expect a new step-brother baby. But Fred is dealing with both her families changes and the plight of the Kosovo 'I was eleven when everything started and twelve by the end. But that's another way that maps don't tell the whole truth- because it felt like the distance I travelled was a lot further than that". And Winifred, or Fred, did experience so much more than a girl her age would normally go through. She'd already lost her Mum,had to adapt to her step-dad having a new wife and son and had to expect a new step-brother baby. But Fred is dealing with both her families changes and the plight of the Kosovo refugees at Point Nepean , who started out at the safe haven, and ended up at a detention centre. I think this is a wonderful, complex but very relatable book for young adults and I would like to quote this one line 'This is how the world heals,I think.,one 'small act at a time'.
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  • Wendy Harper
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it. Beautifully written, and sensitively handled. Just the thing for an iso-read. Will be recommending highly to all.
  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review on the Shannon A. Jade Books blog!My The Year the Maps Changed Top 3:- Diverse stories & perspectives- Excellent characters- Geographic symbolism & poetic writing Read my full review on the Shannon A. Jade Books blog!My The Year the Maps Changed Top 3:- Diverse stories & perspectives- Excellent characters- Geographic symbolism & poetic writing
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  • Maddy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so full of heart, warmth and kindness and tackles real life issues with honesty and empathy, never shying away from difficult topics or patronising the reader. It was set in the glorious Mornington Peninsula and I felt like I was there with the characters. One of the best middle grade fiction books of the year!
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