The Boy from the Mish
Gary Lonesborough
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781760525880
Awards Year: 2022
Category: Book of the Year: Older Readers


'I don't paint so much anymore,' I say, looking to my feet.

'Oh. Well, I got a boy who needs to do some art. You can help him out,' Aunty Pam says, like I have no say in the matter, like she didn't hear what I just said about not painting so much anymore. 'Jackson, this is Tomas. He's living with me for a little while.'

It's a hot summer, and life's going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It's almost Christmas, school's out, and he's hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson's Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city - but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them… As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret - a secret he thought he'd locked away for good.

decorative line break

The author says...

Gary Lonesborough answers ALIA's questions about his book "The Boy from the Mish" as part of the CBCA Sun Project "Shadow Judging".

play button for ALIA's video with Gary Lonesborough

The CBCA judges say...

A tender, contemporary First Nation's coming of age book that speaks of the slow realisation of identity and one's place in the world. An important book in this category. Love fills its pages — family love, friendship love and romantic love, as well as love of culture. Set in an Indigenous mission, the story gives a realistic and positive insight into happy Indigenous family life. The language includes poetic descriptions of bush and countryside, and sensitive descriptions of emotions. The clash of Indigenous culture with modern Australia and the loss of culture and its impact is explored in depth.

The Reading Time reviewers say...

Reading Time Logo

Read the Reading Time review The Boy from the Mish.


Return to Shortlist Books 2022