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Mallee Boys - Charlie Archbold

Paperback Published: 10th October 2017
ISBN: 9781743055007
Number Of Pages: 216

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Sometimes I feel like I'm neither one thing nor another. I live in the Mallee but I don't like the desert. I live on a farm but I get hay fever and I'm scared of goats. I like school but my best mates don't. I'm stuck between stuff. It's like I'm not meant to be here but I am.

Sandy Douglas knows that life at fifteen is hard, but it's even harder when your mother died a year ago and nothing's gone right since. His brother Red, on the other hand, is eighteen now and working the farm. He's amped up on rage and always looking for a fight. And then there's their dad Tom. He does his best, but - really - he doesn't have a clue.

As Sandy and Red deal with girls, dirt biking, footy and friendship, both boys have to work out who they want to be, without their mum around. The Mallee, where they live, may seem like the middle of nowhere, but it turns out this is going to be one hell of a year.

Winner of the 2016 Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award

Particularly good read for country teenage boys


Relates real-life challenges of some older teenagers in regional areas, with a loss of a parent in the mix.

Box Hill, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Mallee Boys is an enthralling novel


Mallee Boys is an enthralling novel that captures the unique voices and lives of two young brothers living in rural Australia as they bridge the gap from childhood to adulthood. Parties, schooling, farming, deadly snakes, grief and loss, family, and friends, Mallee Boys encompasses the simplicity of everyday life and the many complications it brings. Sandy has only months left of Year Ten. Months to decide if or where he can continue his schooling. Red is happy his school days are behind him. Now he can help his dad on their farm, play footy and hang with his mates. Both boys are still grieving the sudden loss of their mother who suddenly died only one year ago. As their days fill with work, dirt biking, friendship complications, and trouble with girls, both Sandy and Red face decisions that will shape their futures. Mallee Boys is written from the perspectives of brothers Sandy and Josh (known to all as Red), alternating with each chapter. The writing style is conversational and informal, really digging into the psyche of Sandy and Red, who come across as authentic young men. The story is heavily narrated, almost diary-like, often referring back to past events and providing many retellings of the main plot points. Uniquely Australian, I think this book has every Aussie slang known to man. I promise we Aussies don't actually talk like that (at least, not all the time). The story really hones in on the simple tasks and events of everyday life in rural Australia, something to which many young readers can-no doubt-relate, while others will enjoy this glimpse of rural life. Girls, school, family fights, grief, changing friendships, sports, and the relationship between brother - all are issues that are relatable to this book's young adult audience. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.



Mallee Boys

4.5 2


ISBN: 9781743055007
ISBN-10: 1743055005
Audience: Children
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 10th October 2017
Publisher: Wakefield Press Pty, Limited
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.0  x 1.25
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 1