Over The Pond

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Over The Pond

On Saturdays, I bring my wonderful teenage son into downtown Vancouver for speech therapy. While he surrounds himself with words – learning new ones, retrieving old ones – I do the same at the bookstore across the road, Chapters on Granville.

A number of things are on my checklist when I’m there. I look at the new releases and the discounted fiction and, if my gorgeous teen daughter has come along, the ‘Daredevil’ titles in the comics/graphic novels section. I browse the ‘Heather’s Picks’ table (I don’t have the foggiest who Heather is, but she’s probably quite nice. She sure reads a lot). I try to telepathically convince random shoppers to buy my books. And always, always, I look for the Oz YA that has made it over the pond.

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‘Exchange of Heart’ – The Stuck-in-an-Elevator Pitch

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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.