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Download the Teachers’ Notes here.

Shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for the Ethel Turner Prize for Books for Young Adults, 2004

Shortlisted for the 2004 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers.

Daniel is a magnificently original creation-he is neither a stereotypical jock obsessed with indicators of masculinity nor a stereotypical outsider. Gardner charts Daniel’s cautious and painful negotiations with his family, his past and the apparently unobtainable Chantelle, combining a believable teenage voice with equally believable moments of pure poetry.’ Jenny Pausacker, The Weekend Australian

In the country, where his fifteenth summer has burned the life from the grass, Daniel Fairbrother is searching. Looking for something that will make tomorrow seem worth the effort. Something that will fix the rot in his family tree. Stop it from falling apart under the weight of a thousand secrets.

Dan’s clues come from the animals. And the Dutch woman.

He works in her garden. Eddy’s eighty-six. She has a tattoo, a history, and can make music with her farts. She pays in cash and can read Dan’s mind.

In a shady corner of Eddy’s garden, Dan finds something growing …


But something is burning.

‘an honest and perceptive account of growing up.’ Anne Briggs, Magpies