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The ‘sky in silver lace’ is Vivienne’s euphemistic metaphor for the encroaching hard times. Shutterstock

Guide to the classics: Alice Pung on Robin Klein’s The Sky in Silver Lace

The Melling sisters — like Alcott’s March sisters and Austen’s Bennetts — are four girls who become women during the course of Robin Klein's trilogy of novels. The Sky in Silver Lace is the most bittersweet of the three.
This year saw many notable books, looking at a diverse range of experiences. Richard Leeming

What young adult fiction looked like in 2015

Young adult fiction has been having a much needed conversation around diversity. In 2015 we saw this discussion bear fruit, as a new crop of diverse, absorbing and powerful stories sprang up.
There is renewed debate around the lack of honest representations of diversity in Young Adult books. Melanie Holtsman

Telling the real story: diversity in young adult literature

Debate about the lack of diversity in young adult literature isn't new, but thanks to recent campaigns such as We Need Diverse Books, there's renewed focus on why diversity in literature is crucial.
The burden of creating a more inclusive, fairer and more tolerant society is carried by the younger generation. Hadi Zaher/Flickr

How Australian dystopian young adult fiction differs from its US counterparts

There are many similarities between blockbusting young adult novels such as The Hunger Games series and Australian books such as Taronga – but there are also clear differences in their messages for the young.
Author Melina Marchetta is a guest at this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival. AAP Image/Penguin Group

A writer’s craft: a conversation with Melina Marchetta

"Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the English syllabus was made up of books that students love?" Australian author Melina Marchetta's novels have won her many devoted fans and she's passionate about engaging young people with literature.
Young adult dystopian characters like Insurgent’s Tris are inspiring their female fans to shatter the glass ceiling. Lionsgate Films

Girls on fire: political empowerment in young adult dystopia

By featuring girls who buck the conventions of their world – and ours – films like Insurgent inspire fans to enact real change.
Australian YA literature seems to be repeatedly representing adolescent suicide as productive for survivors. dory kornfeld

Young adult fiction can be a safe space to discuss youth suicide

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15-24, according to cause of death data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March this year. In light of this, it’s not surprising…
Australian writing for young adults has moved on as has our thinking about what it means to be gay. Pat Reynolds

Gay? Jewish? Neither? A manual to help you challenge the rules

Young adult fiction and complex themes go hand in hand – not least in one of the most recent entries to this field. Melbourne-based writer Eli Glasman’s debut novel The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper…
From suicide to heroin addiction, young adult fiction creates open discussion about the darker issues in our society. Flickr

Young adult fiction’s dark themes give the hope to cope

Problem or issue-based young adult novels are not new occurrences. From John Green’s Fault in Our Stars (2012) to Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (2007), books aimed at readers as young as 12, and as…

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