Aussie Teen Reads

June 2024

We are celebrating the incredible talent of Australian creatives this month. Australian authors reflect the places we live, the people in our lives, and the experiences we've had.

Below you will find a list of Australian teen fiction reading recommendations, as well as some Australiana art and craft activities.

Australian teen fiction

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Anything But Fine

Tobias Madden

Luca is ready to audition for the Australian Ballet School. All it takes to crush his dreams is one missed step... and a broken foot. Jordan is the gorgeous rowing star and school captain of Luca's new school. Everyone says he's straight -- but Luca's not so sure. As their unlikely bond grows stronger, Luca starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?



One Song

A. J. Betts

'In a few months, the four of us will be elsewhere, doing other things, and this chance we have now will be long gone. We won't get a redo. We won't get another shot at changing the very course of our existence.' Eva writes intimate, personal songs. She wants to make it as a musician, but after three failed attempts at the Triple J Unearthed High competition, she's ready to give up on her dreams and focus on graduating high school. Until Cooper Hunter, fellow muso and Eva's long-time crush, convinces her to try again - this time, with some help. Cue the band: Eva, the indie-folk singer-songwriter; Cooper, the charismatic rock guitarist; Ant, the mellow, metal-head drummer; Ruby, the broody, opinionated bassist. And in the background is Mim, the aspiring documentary-maker who's filming their rehearsal. Five people who have nothing in common but music. Will it be enough? Set over an emotionally and creatively charged weekend, One Song is part music doco, part The Breakfast Club as five teenagers face the pressure of recording the most important song of their lives.


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Unnecessary Drama

Nina Kenwood


Eighteen-year-old Brooke is the kind of friend who not only remembers everyone's birthdays, but also organises the group present, pays for it and politely chases others for their share. She's the helper, the doer, the guarder-of-drinks, the minder-of-bags, the maker-of-spreadsheets. She's the responsible one who always follows the rules - and she plans to keep it that way during her first year of university. Her new share house only has one rule, 'no unnecessary drama'. Which means no fights, tension, or romance between housemates. When one of her housemates turns out to be Jesse, her high-school enemy, Brooke is nervously confident she can handle it. They'll simply silently endure living together and stay out of each other's way. But it turns out Jesse isn't so easy to ignore.


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Two Can Play That Game

Leanne Yong

Sam Khoo has one goal in life: create cool indie games. She's willing to do anything to make her dream come true, even throw away a scholarship to university. All she needs is that super-rare ticket to a game design workshop and she can kickstart her career. So when Jaysen Chua, otherwise known as Jerky McJerkface, sneakily grabs the last ticket for himself, Sam is left with no choice. It's war. Knowing all too well how their Australian-Malaysian community works, she issues him an ultimatum: put the ticket on the line in a 1v1 competition of classic video games, or she'll broadcast his duplicity to everyone. Thank you, Asian Gossip Network. Meeting in neutral locations, away from the eyes and ears of nosy aunties and uncles, Sam and Jay connect despite themselves. It's a puzzle that Sam's not sure she wants to solve. But when her dream is under threat, will she discover that there is more than one way to win?

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The F Team 

Rawah Arja

Meet Tariq Nader, leader of 'The Wolf Pack' at Punchbowl High, who has been commanded by the new principal to join a football competition with his mates in order to rehabilitate the public image of their school. When the team is formed, Tariq learns there's a major catch, half of the team is made up of white boys from Cronulla, aka enemy territory and he must compete with their strongest player for captaincy of the team. At school Tariq thinks he has life all figured out until he falls for a new girl called Jamila, who challenges everything he thought he knew. At home, his outspoken ways have brought him into conflict with his family. Now, with complications on all fronts, he has to dig deep to control his anger, and find what it takes to be a leader. In confronting and often hilarious situations, Tariq's relationships with his extended Lebanese family and his friends are tested like never before, and he comes to learn that his choices can have serious consequences. 

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Tomorrow When the War Began

John Marsden

When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.


 Making Friends with Alice Dyson

Poppy Nwosu

Alice Dyson knows exactly how she'll be spending her final year of high school: with her head down, concentrating on her textbooks and homework. She's focused on the future, and nothing is going to get in her way. Until a bizarre encounter with the school's most notorious troublemaker derails all her plans, turning Alice into the unwilling centre of attention and her life into one enormous complication. And even worse? Now Teddy Taualai won't leave her alone.


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Road Tripping with Peal Nash

Poppy Nwosu

The summer is finally here, and Pearl Nash is on a mission to save her slowly disintegrating friendship with a whirlwind end-of-year road trip that is definitely, absolutely, most positively going to solve all her problems. Except, instead of her best friend Daisy's feet on her dash, suddenly Pearl ends up stuck in the middle of the desert beside Obi Okocha, a boy with a mega-watt smile and an endlessly irritating attitude. Tasked with delivering him to the most epic end-of-year party ever, located in a beach shack in literal middle-of-nowhere woop woop, Pearl Nash is certain that nothing could be worse than this. She's wrong. Add in a breakdown, multiple arguments, an AWOL nana and a kiss that was most definitely a huge mistake, and suddenly Pearl has the perfect ingredients for the perfect disaster.


      let's never speak of this again book cover  

 Let's Never Speak of This Again

Megan Williams

Winner of the 2022 Text Prize, Let's Never Speak of This Again is the big-hearted YA debut of the year, celebrating the depths and strengths of friendship through all of life's ups and downs. Ella and I have been best friends since grade one. We can spend hours talking about everything and nothing. We know each other's greatest fears, things that irrationally annoy us, and ideal career if money and skill weren't an issue. If there was only one Hartford Bakery brownie left in the whole world and it was somehow in my possession, Ella is the only person I'd consider sharing it with. Life is pretty good for sixteen-year-old Abby. Okay, her grandma doesn't remember things anymore, her relationship with her mum is increasingly strained and she accidentally kissed her cousin's cousin on the weekend, so things aren't exactly perfect. But everything is manageable with her best friend, Ella, by her side. And with Ella's brother, Will, interesting and attentive, on the sidelines. When new girl Chloe arrives, Abby is pleased to be the one to show her around, to welcome her to the group. But Abby doesn't imagine Chloe fitting in so well or quite so quickly. And before long Abby is feeling just a little left out, a little unsure of Ella's friendship. In a moment of anger and confusion she wishes something bad would happen. When it does-with tragic consequences-everything shifts again. And Abby has to face her own feelings and work out what friendship really means. Megan Williams' brilliant debut Let's Never Speak of This Again is a tender, moving story laced with humour, about friendship, about the things that test it, and about what matters most.



   More titles

Click here to see more Australian Teen Fiction titles available through the library catalogue




Australiana activities 

    anthropomorphic lizard art

Anthropomorphic Australian Animals

Be inspired by the incredibly talented South Australian illustrator and artist Zinia King, and create an anthropomorphic Australian animal artwork!

Zinia uses the mediums of watercolour, coloured pencils, pen and ink to create detailed, colourful, and quirky characters and illustrations. You can see more of Zinia's incredible work through her website.


 ocean creature tote bagocean creature tote bag

Tote Bag Painting

All you need for this craft is some acrylic paint and a brush, or acrylic paint pens, a canvas tote bag, paper, a pencil, and a large piece of carboard.

First sketch out some ideas for your design on a piece of paper. We were inspired by Australian icons in our session, animals, plants, places and foods. Once you're happy with your design, lightly draw it on your tote bag with pencil. 

Put a large piece of cardboard inside your bag before you start painting it, this helps to prevent paint bleeding through to the other side. Decorate your bag until you're happy with your design! The great thing about working with acrylic paint is that it dries quickly, and is easy to layer. Have fun!



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