By: Steven Herrick
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 3 Sep 2018
ISBN: 9780702259982


'There are worse things than school.'

Luke sleepwalks through his days wagging school, swimming at the reservoir and eating takeaway pizza.

That is until Charlotte shows up.

Rumour is she got expelled from her city school and her family moved to the Blue Mountains for a fresh start.

But when Luke's invited to her house, he discovers there's a lot more going on than meets the eye.


Steven Herrick’s books have been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year awards seven times, and his latest book is equally worthy.

Set on the right and wrong side of the track, it shows that many things can bring happiness and that money of itself is not necessarily one of them.

Our main character Luke’s Dad worked in the pub, gambled on the horses and didn’t have much except happiness. Unfortunately, Luke’s Dad died, and Luke and his Mum are just going along, coping day by day.

But when Charlotte, new to Luke’s school and a seemingly stuck-up rich girl, stands up for Luke they develop an unlikely friendship.

But every family has their problems, and things in Charlotte’s life are not as they seem. Her father is violent, and her home life is difficult. Can Luke and Charlotte hatch a plan to stop her father’s behaviour for good?

This is a fantastic read, and as is Steven’s way it delves deep into everyday life, this time touching on family violence, grief, and the meaning of happiness. It will best suit readers 13 years and older.

Reviewed by Rob