I can’t let go of them – the good, right things – because if I do I’ll turn into a cloud and I’ll float away, and a storm will come and blow me to nothing.

Aster’s Good, Right Things has recently won the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Younger Readers Book of the Year 2021 Award.

The front cover of Aster’s Good, Right Things.

Written for readers aged between 9 and 14, the novel is set in Tasmania and follows 11-year-old Aster as she challenges herself to make people’s lives better.

She suffers from an anxiety disorder and has no friends at the school she attends, which is for gifted children.

It is a beautifully-written story that is heartfelt, sad, happy, and warm – sometimes all at the same time!

Aster is lovable and relatable. She possesses all the innocence an 11-year-old would have.

The novel’s text is simple and easy to read, but its themes are deep and complex. It deals with things like anxiety, depression, bullying, foster care, and maternal abandonment.

Though it is aimed at young people, adults can still take something away from Aster’s Good, Right Things.

It is well worth a read.

Technical information

Kate Gordon, Aster’s Good, Right Things, Riveted Press 2020, 192pp, ISBN 9780648492573, paperback.

About Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon was raised in Tasmania.

Three Things About Daisy Blue, her first book, was published in 2010.

Her most recent publications include Writing Clementine, Girl Running, Boy Falling, The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn, and the junior fiction series Juno Jones.

“My whole aim in writing books is to make the lives of young people better somehow,” she says.

Gordon writes for every child, but especially for her daughter.

She is currently working on a book about whales and about girls who change the world.