January 31, 2017
#WeNeedDiverseBooks, Assisted Living, Book Blurb, Coming Soon, Disability, Diversity, Exchange of Heart, Fair Go, Heart Problems, LoveOzYA, New Books, New YA Lit, Special Needs, Student Exchange, YA
Sometimes, Life takes on a life of its own…
Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Munro Maddux has been stuck. Flashbacks. Anger. Chest pains. And a voice – taunting, barking, biting – that his counsellor calls ‘the Coyote’. Munro knows a student exchange will not be the stuff of Disney movies. But in Australia he intends to move beyond his troubled past.
Forced by his new school to join a volunteer program, Munro discovers the Coyote is silenced in one place: Fair Go, an assisted living residence in Brisbane’s west, where Munro gets to know his team of residents: dogged designer Bernie; sleeping refugee Shah; would-be wedded couple Blake and Dale; comic creator Iggy; and self-defence tutor Florence. As this unlikely group shows Munro the sights, Munro’s notion of what it means to be a big brother begins to change.
But the burden Munro carries is not so easily cast aside, and unexpected developments at Fair Go prompt a devastating flashback that threatens to end the student exchange. Will the Coyote ultimately triumph? Or can Munro find the fortitude necessary to mend his heart?
‘Funny-sad, authentic and uplifting – Groth is a writer who can pivot from heartbreak to humour without missing a beat.’ Vikki Wakefield, author of All I Ever Wanted
Exchange of Heart will be published in AUS/NZ July 31, 2017. In CAN/US, the book will be released October 17, 2017 under the title Munro vs. the Coyote.
You can mark it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads here and here.
July 25, 2015
Are You Seeing Me?, ASD, Autism, AYSM, Daughters, Disability, Diversity, Fathers, Journal, Kids, New Release, New YA Lit, Sons, Twins, YA, YA Lit, Young Adults
11.00am, July 21st 2001. In the too-familiar confines of Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital, my daughter is born. Three minutes later, my son follows.
How to properly mark the arrival of my children into the world? What can I do to let them know they are loved from the first second forward?
I will write them a journal. One each. Until their fifth birthdays. It makes sense; I have so few skills, but seeing lives, conjuring thoughts, assembling words – these are my staples.
I write. Moments of hilarity, of poignancy. I fill small pages with tiny details and big imagination. Flickers of a technicolour film in its formative months. I write fast for ten months.
Then I am slow.
August 18, 2014
Advice, Are You Seeing Me?, ASD, Autism, Autism Fiction, Autism Writing, AYSM, AYSM Quotes, Books, Difference, Disability, Good Life, New Books, New YA Lit, No Lie, Novels, Perry, Perry Quotes, Perry Richter, Random House Australia, Wisdom, YA Lit, Young Adults
Are You Seeing Me? is on the shelves and the initial response has been terrific. Readers have shared their experiences of laughing and crying and wishing earnestly and thinking differently and, when all was said and done, not wanting to let go.
A major reason for this response has been Perry Richter. The young man with the “brain condition” seems to be touching hearts and souls in a big way. I’m delighted by this – in the character’s simple eloquence and careful observance, there are lessons for all of us, his author included.
So, as both an early thank you to AYSM’s readers and a brief foray into the beautiful mind of a special person, here is Perry’s “No Lie” guide to living a good life in an unstable world:
July 2, 2014
Aides, ASD, Australia, Australian Education, Autism, Autism Support, BC Teachers Strike, Canada, Canada Day, Canadian Education, Disability, Disability Support, Education, Schooling, Special Needs, Teacher Aides, Teachers
Back in May of 2007, as Term One of our twins’ first and last year of Australian schooling was drawing to a close, we understood the situation:
On Fridays, there would be no teacher-aide support in mainstream class for our autism-diagnosed son. The other four days were fine, but the ’emergency funding’ for the fifth had run out. If we wanted support, we could pay for it ourselves, or we could come to school with him. Of course, we could always keep him at home if we wanted. This was how it would be for the remainder of the year. This was how it would be for the next twelve years.
You can imagine our emotions – anger, disbelief, disillusionment.
It may surprise you to know there was also relief.