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Stella’s book review

Young woman and an older woman, reading a book in the park

This month Stella shares some new and classic ‘coming-of-age’ Australian stories that have been adapted for TV or the silver screen:

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (2018). Set in the 1980’s, Eli Bell, a working-class youth, enters Brisbane’s underworld to save his mother from danger. Currently streaming on Netflix as a critically-acclaimed eight-part series.

The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson (aka Ethel Richardson) (1910) highlights that not much has changed in the societal expectations of young women. The novel is only in part a fictionalised account of Richardson’s school years at the Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, where (unlike her fictional counterpart) she was not only academically successful but also an outstanding student of music. It was made into a movie in the late 1970’s.

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (2016) is set in 1965 in rural Australia and is a tale of young love, friendship, small-town mentality, race and growing up. It is also delightfully funny and life-affirming. It was made into a movie in 2017.

Do you have a favourite book or story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Email:


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