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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016.
Longlisted for the Gold Inky Award 2017.
Shortlisted for the 2017 CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Carnegie Medal.
Shortlisted for Children's Book Council of Australia Awards - Older Readers 2017.

Subhi's imagination is as big as the ocean and wide as the sky, but his world is much smaller: he's spent his whole life in an immigration detention centre.

The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.

Sometimes, at night, the dirt outside turns into a beautiful ocean. As red as the sun and as deep as the sky. I lie in my bed, Queeny's feet pushing up against my cheek, and listen to the waves lapping at the tent.

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.

The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, and brings a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family's love songs and tragedies.

Subhi and Jimmie might both find a way to freedom, as their tales unfold. But not until each of them has been braver than ever before.

Zana Fraillon was born in Melbourne, but spent her early childhood in San Francisco. Zana has written two picture books for young children, a series for middle readers, and a novel for older readers based on research and accounts of survivors of the Forgotten Generation. She spent a year in China teaching English and now lives in Melbourne with her three sons, husband and two dogs. When Zana isn't reading or writing, she likes to explore the museums and hidden passageways scattered across Melbourne. They provide the same excitement as that moment before opening a new book - preparing to step into the unknown where a whole world of possibilities awaits.

©2016 Zana Fraillon (P)2017 Hachette Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"Written in a child's sensibility, it conveys the heat, listlessness and the imperative of surviving through stories, even if that means conjuring up pictures from the mould growing next to your bed and believing the vast desert that surrounds you is actually the sea. But even Subhi's superior imagination can't forever protect him from the reality of hunger strikes, sewed lips and violence. A powerful and highly disturbing read, even more so because it's based on truth." ( The Big Issue)
"This is an exquisite, heart-rendingly honest portrayal of life in a refugee detention camp." ( Good Reading)
" The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love." ( The Independent Bookseller)

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