Begin, end, begin: A #LoveOzYA anthology edited by Danielle Binks
Harper Collins, 2017. ISBN 9781460752319
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Any reader, young adult or adult will not be disappointed with the short stories found in this collection. With contributions from leading Australian young adult authors, Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, one would expect the quality to be outstanding and each of the stories is an exceptional example of why they are such good writers. The backgrounds range from outer space, to country Australia, to urban parties and a long bus trip from Canberra to Melbourne, so there is something to appeal to the most discriminating reader.
Each of the ten short stories have an interesting take on the theme 'Begin, end, begin'. Fans of Ellie Marney's mystery series will be delighted to read a short story about Rachel and Mycroft's first meeting and how they became friends in 'Missing persons'. Michael Pryor takes on the hard and illuminating task of setting a refugee situation in space and does this in a most heart wrenching way in 'First casualty' commenting on politics and action that will resonate with readers. Jaclyn Moriarty's quirky 'Competition entry #349' will bring a smile to the reader's face as her young heroine goes back and forward in time to see why her budding romance has faltered, and both Amie Kaufman and Lili Wilkinson have explored diversity in their relationships. In 'The feeling from over here' Gabrielle Tozer explores the feelings that bullying and name calling has and shows how difficult it can be to stand up to bullies in a school setting. Alice Pung's 'In a heartbeat', explores the difficulties of teen pregnancy and celebrates a caring mother/daughter relationship.
Begin, end, begin: A #LoveOzYA anthology showcases the authors' talents. For those who may be unfamiliar with their books it will give a wonderful introduction to their style and is sure to make readers want to pick up more of their stories. I also look forward to reading more by Danielle Binks in the future.
Readers may also be interested in exploring the #LoveOzYA hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and going to the #LoveOzYA website to learn more about the beginnings of the #LoveOzYA movement.