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
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!
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
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - B format