Middle grade fiction with dystopian elements. Challenging and thought-provoking; affecting and beautifully crafted.

Every girl dreams of being part of the line - the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important. Jena is the leader of the line - strong, respected, reliable. And - as all girls must be - she is small; her years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of the things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena question everything she has ever known? What happens when moving a single stone changes everything?


Meg McKinlay grew up in Bendigo, Victoria, in a book-loving, TV- and car-free household. On the long and winding path to becoming a children’s writer, she has worked a variety of jobs including swim instructor, tour guide, translator and teacher. These days, she lives with her family near the ocean in Fremantle and divides her time between teaching and writing, a balance that swings wildly between chaos and calm. She is always busy cooking up more books and you can visit her on the web at www.megmckinlay.com


… engaging, beautifully written novel that manages to pose big questions about gender and power, and thoroughly entertain. This is a quietly powerful, polished story … FOUR STARS

Books + Publishing

The book’s beautiful cover gave me goosebumps.


Wonderful. Highly recommended for readers of 13+

Books in Print

I can highly recommend this book. It takes a brave soul to question the status quo.


After reading several fast-paced and adrenaline-driven novels recently, the steady, thoughtful unfolding of A Single Stone was refreshing.

Kids' Book Review

‘A Single Stone’ is everything I want in book for our young people: beautifully haunting writing; each word carefully considered; a melodic rhythm to the story; and issues so varied and vast that young minds are set alight with imaginings and then burn slow with questions and gathered wisdom.

Children's Books Daily

A haunting story

New Zealand Herald

A Single Stone is well written and developed and is wonderfully creepy.

Otago Daily Times

McKinlay has created what I hope will become an Australian YA contemporary classic

Joy Lawn

A top – notch young adult novel that is a gripping and enthralling read.


This was an enlightening and thought provoking read


Readers will feel squeezed by the mountain, shocked along with Jena at the discoveries she makes, and warmed by the hope of the resolution. Wonderful.

Aussie Reviews

A Single Stone is a very visual story and the descriptions of being inside the mountain are so vivid.

Reading Time

Best Books of 2015

The Australian

Written in scintillating prose filled with rich metaphors, this imaginative and well-crafted story is for the 12+ age group.

Buzz Words

In almost all cases, shortness of breath is not a great feeling. In this instance, though, it was merely a symptom of good writing, and it happened as I read the opening pages of Meg McKinlay’s taut, thoughtful story…


This is a fascinating. beautifully written and extraordinary original story.

Magpies Magazine


Aurealis Awards, Best Children’s Work
Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Young Adult Fiction Category
Queensland Literary Awards, Griffith University Children’s Book Award
Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, Young Adult Fiction Award
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature
Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Young Adult Category
WAYRBA, Younger Readers
Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, Children’s Books
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