By: Elizabeth Kasmer
Genre: YF - Children's & teenage fiction & true stories
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 29 Aug 2016
ISBN: 9780702254208


Tonight we are wolves. Our pack moves as one, past empty shop fronts and faded billboards.

Sixteen-year-old Rory is at a crossroads in her life. While her gang plans its next move in a racially motivated turf war, Rory is sentenced to spend her summer at an aged care facility. She’s proud of taking the rap for a crime her gang committed and reading to a feisty old boxing champion isn’t going to change that.

But what happens when Rory’s path intersects with migrant boxer Essam, and she becomes the victim, not the perpetrator? Can she find the courage to face her past and become the girl her dad called Aurora?


Rory is a young girl who finds herself in trouble. It could be any teenager today, trying to find their way and fit in with the crowd, but ending up doing something stupid with serious consequences. For Rory, she finds herself having to do community service and is assigned to St Mary’s, an aged care facility. {art of her job is to read to one of the patients in the high care ward, an old boxer named Jack.

What starts out as a chore builds to a beautiful relationship, and Rory and Jack both form an incredible bond and friendship, and end up helping each other.

The more you read, the more you come to understand Rory. Her character and the underlying reasons for her behaviour, and her sense of loss and guilt builds as the story goes on. She starts to question all that she has believed in, and also the friendships that she has always had, and through her new relationship with Essam, the young Iranian boxer who Jack coached, she really starts to change and grow.

This really is a fabulous read. There are strong themes of racism, family ties, loss and guilt, second chances, understanding and compassion, and above all, hope.

This book is suitable for all teenagers, particularly those trying to find their place and their true self.

Reviewed by Sam