A Straight Line to My Heart - Bill Condon (Allen & Unwin)
A funny, poignant, story of first love, first job, friends, family and the inevitability of change in the first summer out of school.
Tiff is hoping her job at the local paper will lead to something more... but 'The Shark' soon puts her straight on what it takes to become a hard-nosed reporter. At home, Reggie – the only grandad Tiff's ever known – has quit the smokes and diagnosed himself as cactus. Then her best friend hits her with some big news. And into all this stumbles Davey, the first boy who has ever really wanted to know her.
Bill Condon is the winner of the 2010 inaugural Prime Minister's Literary Award for young adult fiction for his book Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. He lives with his wife Dianne Bates, also a children's author, on the south coast of New South Wales. Bill left school at the first chance he got and worked in an assortment of jobs before a chance meeting with Larry Rivera, the editor of a local weekly newspaper, led to a career as a journalist. He eventually left journalism to devote himself full-time to writing for children.
Condon writes about teenagers with great empathy. His first-person narrator Tiff is at a crossroads, burning to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist but slow to realise that her greatest story lies in her unconventional family. Skilfully drawn characters, ranging from her adopted grandfather to a gruff reporter colleague, help the reader to become aware that words sometimes conceal more than they reveal.