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Jasper Jones

Craig Silvey    
Format: Paperback - B format
Pages: 408
AUD $23.99inc. GST
Jasper Jones


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Full of unforgettable characters, a page-turning pace and outrageously good dialogue, this is a glorious novel - thoughtful, funny, heartbreaking and wise - about outsiders and secrets, and what it really means to be a hero.


Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.

Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.

And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

'If we see a more entertaining, heartfelt piece of Australian literature in the next 12 months, it will be a rare year indeed - an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird.' - The Monthly

'It's genius.' - West Australian

'... impossible to put down ... There's tension, injustice, young love, hypocrisy ... and, above all, the certainty that Silvey has planted himself in the landscape as one of our finest storytellers.' - Australian Women's Weekly

'Jasper Jones confronts inhumanity and racism, as the stories of Mark Twain and Harper Lee did. Silvey's voice is distinctive: astute, witty, angry, understanding and self-assured.' - Weekend Australian

'Jasper Jones is a riveting tale, studded with laugh-out-loud and life-affirming moments yet underpinned by a clear-eyed examination of human weaknesses and misdemeanours.' - Adelaide Advertiser


Winner, National Year of Reading 2012, Western Australia

Overall Winner, Indie Book of the Year Award 2009

Winner, Indie Book of the Year 2009 - Fiction

Winner, ABIA (Australian Book Industry Awards) Book of the Year 2010

Winner, ABIA (Australian Book Industry Awards) Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2010

Winner (joint), 2009 Western Australia Premier's Literary Award - Fiction

Finalist, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald 2010 Best Young Novelist

Shortlisted, Miles Franklin Literary Award 2010

Shortlisted, 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Award - Christina Stead Prize for fiction

Shortlisted, 2010 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards - The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction

Shortlisted, 2011 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

Honor Book, 2012 Michael L. Printz Awards, USA

Craig Silvey grew up on an orchard in Dwellingup Western Australia. He now lives in Fremantle, where at the age of 19 he wrote his first novel, Rhubarb, published by Fremantle Press in 2004. In 2005, Rhubarb was chosen as the 'One Book' for the Perth International Writers' Festival, and was included in the national Books Alive campaign. Silvey also received a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist Award. In 2007, Silvey released The World According To Warren, a picture book affectionately starring the guide-dog from Rhubarb. His second novel, Jasper Jones, was completed with the aid of an Australia Council New Work Grant. Outside of literature, Silvey is the singer/songwriter for the band The Nancy Sikes!

ISBN: 9781742372624
Australian Pub.: May 2010
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Subject: Popular fiction
Edition Number:

Reader reviews

'I can't begin to tell you how exciting it was finishing this book; coming to the last 40 odd pages, hoping, holding my breath, reading with the biggest of lumps in my throat as a masterpiece evolved. There! Right in front of my eyes!

I am not one to be at all impressed by the fact that the book I am reading is Australian; it needs to be brilliant, it needs to be fresh, it needs to stand up there on its own merit, it must not be a second rate number that simply has an Australian background, and above all else it must not be earnest or try to lecture me in any way. But Jasper Jones could stand up there with anything I've ever read in my entire sixty years, and indeed it belongs to a very small number of books that I consider absolutely flawless. Bookclubs everywhere in particular, make sure you make a space for it in May, when this wonderful book is published and celebrate with me.

I am not going to say anything about the plot; I will simply try to convey how vivid and alive the book is, how brilliant it is to meet Charlie Bucktin, Jeffrey Lu and Jasper Jones, these three living, breathing people that will forever stay in my heart, the fantastic and witty dialogue between the two afore-mentioned characters, the marvellous story, rich and so full of wisdom, the plot's well judged and impeccable conclusion, and above all else, the creation of Jasper Jones himself, so charismatic, so cleverly used by his maker; sparely, so that you long for his every appearance. The cricket match that takes place about half way through the book is so exciting, that I have to admit to using the childish device of holding my hand over the paragraphs lower down on the page, so that I couldn't cheat!  Oh! Reading Jasper Jones was such a joy! You will laugh, you will cry, but above all else,  I am sure that you will rejoice in the coming of age of a new Australian talent.' - Annette (Timeless Books and The Raven's Parlour Bookstore, SA)

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Introduction to Jasper Jones

The characters of Jasper Jones

The setting and era of Jasper Jones

Craig Silvey reads from Jasper Jones