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2022 - Shortlisted
Girls in Boys’ Cars is the compelling and beautifully told story of a friendship between two teenagers, Rosa and Asheeka, and the road trip that changes their lives. With a narrative that jumps expertly in time — between memories of growing up in Western Sydney, the drive through regional NSW and Rosa’s present day experiences in juvenile detention — Castagna once again proves her expertise in evoking a vivid sense of place without ever losing narrative momentum.
This is also a novel about stories — the ones that influence our lives as well as the stories we tell about ourselves — and how narratives can both liberate and constrain our choices. Most of all, it is the story of two young women supporting one another in the face of societal structures that oppress them. This is a contemporary tale that young adult readers will relate to and appreciate.