Only the good die young is just a cliché, until it impacts directly on you.
When the “new” neighbours, Frankie Rescio’s newest mate Lochie Marsh’s parents, invite his family over for an Australia Day BBQ, Frankie knows the idea is fraught with danger. It’s not just that the two families have their own take on the world and how it functions. They have each created a suitable veneer of respectability to mask the fractures and dysfunctions that might otherwise tear their lives apart. Each family holds fast to its own tribal lores of what is and isn’t ‘normal’ in a world that needs to be held at arm’s length for the sake of survival-the individual and the family’s both. Frankie Rescio is in Year 10. His sister is dead. His younger brother is about to start Year 7 at Frankie’s school, and next door, Lochie is about to have his already less-than-perfect world invaded by an estranged family member, his now pregnant half-sister Emma and her layabout boyfriend. Just when it seems each family’s life had found a safe passage between ‘them’ and ‘us’, Frankie and Lochie inadvertently construct a rickety bridge that may prove too perilous to cross, even as everyone is forced to.
Archimede Fusillo has had nine YA novels published both in Australia and overseas. His novels have won both critical and reader acclaim, with The Dons winning Book of the Year in 2001. He has won many prestigious awards, including the Alan Marshall Award, the Henry Savery Award and the Mary Grant Bruce Award, and is the recipient of an International Literature Fellowship – which itself was awarded the Sanciolo Literature Award. He has also written several textbooks on writing, has lectured all over Australia and overseas and has also been the judge of the Victorian Premiers Award and the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Awards. Find out more at archimedefusillo.com.