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Nona & Me

Nona & Me 5

by Clare Atkins
Publication Date: 24/09/2014
4/5 Rating 5 Reviews
RRP  $19.99 $17.25

Rosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas. They are also best friends.

It doesn't matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.

Born just five days apart in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, the girls are inseperable, until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they're in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie has lost interest in the community, preferring to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena, and Selena's gorgeous older brother Nick.

When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she be forced to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Publication Date:
Black Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (5 Ratings)
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4 stars (6)
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1 stars (0)
  • Honest & insightful.

    by on

    Rosie is a 15 year old Napaki (non aboriginal) girl growing up in the aboriginal community of Yirrkala in the Northern Territory. Her parents and her are considered family by the Yolngu (Aboriginal) people. But as Rosie grows up she starts to drift from them and her best-friend and sister, Nona.

    Nona and Me is a strong debut from Australian author, Clare Atkins, bringing up relevant issues of identity and finding your place in the world. She delivers a moving and honest portrayal of Rosie’s struggles with acceptance of her Aboriginal heritage and the difficulties of teenage friendships and peer pressure, whilst delivering vivid descriptions of small Aboriginal communities.

  • Woo! Diversity!

    by on

    Despite, being called Nona and Me, I feel like this book was very much focused on Rosie and the journey she takes to define her own identity as a white girl split between the town where her best friend and boyfriend live and the Aboriginal community into which she's been "adopted". In fact, Nona didn't really have that large a role to play for most of the story, and featured mostly in flashbacks. I suppose I didn't mind too much that this was the case, although it would have been nice to learn a bit more about Nona.

    As teenagers go, Rosie makes quite a lot of foolish decisions that either had me sighing in disappointment or clenching my fists in frustration, but I don't see this as a bad thing. It was simply something that made her a more realistic and relatable character. It was also great to see both her parents at various points in the novel. Too often, "disappearing parent syndrome" features in Young Adult, but I'm happy to say that wasn't the case in Nona and Me.

    The way the Aboriginal aspect of things was handled was very culturally sensitive, and I feel like I've learnt a lot more about Aboriginal culture from the book, despite the fact that education didn't seem to be a major aim of the story.

    If you're looking for a bit of diversity, or simply a YA book set in Australia for a change, this book is definitely worth checking out.

  • Bittersweet Coming-Of-Age Story

    by on

    This is a seriously bittersweet and heartfelt story! It's about family and friends and wraps around a heart-tugging message about racism. The character development is good. If you actually want to know about Australia and the indigenous people and how STINKIN' HOT it is in the Northern Territory? Read this book.

    Our bonnie lass narrator, Rosie, isn't racist per se...but her boyfriend is and she's struggling with balancing the beliefs she's grown up with verses what she wants to think for herself. It's a story about growing up and using your brain for yourself.

    Buuut...I was there to see Nona and Rosie! And did I get them? Um. Well, the book is divided into chapters of back-flashing to Rosie's past with Nona as her BFF. But Nona is basically not in the "present" part of the story. I was a little disappointed at how slow it seemed at times.

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