The Book of Chance
Sue Whiting
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781760651367
Awards Year: 2021
Category: The Book of the Year: Younger Readers
Judge's Critique
This complex narrative is set south of Sydney in Wollongong, significantly far away from where the main character Chance Callahan started her life. Suspense and tension are deftly created through the use of a flashback device. Themes of honesty and truth underpin the events. Chance is convincing and engaging as she reluctantly pursues the truth about her birth and her mother, Nadia, with serious and unexpected consequences. The theme of having a fresh start is developed through the story of Chance and Nadia but also through the South Sudanese refugees who are neighbours and part of the family. This thought-provoking narrative would inspire many discussions on the morality of truth, and the sub-plot dealing with social media was deftly handled.