Young Adult Book Review – Catching Teller Crow

Cover Image for Catching Teller Crow

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

This book was Notable for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Older Readers. It was also the winner of the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults and shortlisted for the 2019 Indie Book Awards.

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since she died. Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her – and he’s drowning in grief. But now they have a mystery to solve together. Who is Isobel Catching, and what’s her connection to the fire that killed a man? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire? As Beth unravels the mystery, she finds a shocking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another.

Told in two unforgettable voices, this gripping novel interweaves themes of grief, colonial history, violence, love and family.

So much story is crammed into not-quite 200 pages. This book combines traditional Aboriginal storytelling with poetry and a modern teenager’s viewpoint to tell the stories of strong young women in Australia. Beth is a recently deceased girl who can communicate with her grieving father – a policeman trying to solve a crime that becomes more complicated at every step. They meet Isobel Catching, and begin to learn the dark secrets of the town and Australian history.

This book is best suited to older teens and adults. The authors’ note at the end of the book provides some valuable information about the importance of Aboriginal storytelling and the heartbreak of the Stolen Generations.

The authors of this book – a brother-sister team of Aboriginal writers who come from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia – share the writing, with Ambelin writing in prose as Beth and Ezekiel writing in poetry as Isobel. An interesting fact learnt while researching this book is that they are the children of Sally Morgan and have collaborated with her to write and illustrate books for younger children. You can reserve these from Cockburn Libraries.

You can reserve this book from Cockburn Libraries in print, large print, e-audiobook or as an e-book via OverDrive or BorrowBox. It was published in the US under the alternate title, ‘The things she’s seen’.

Interested in more YA by these authors? Click on the covers for details!

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