Aster’s Good, Right Things

Aster attends a school for gifted kids, but she doesn’t think she’s special at all. If she was, her mother wouldn’t have left. And if she isn’t careful, everyone else will leave her too.

Aster’s Good, Right Things is the compelling tale of 11-year-old Aster’s experience with an anxiety disorder and her journey to find self-acceptance and happiness. The novel also tackles themes of friendship, parental separation, resilience, diversity and gender norms.

With isolation being particularly harmful to already vulnerable young people, COVID-19 is exacerbating already concerning levels of mental health issues. The authenticity of Aster’s experience lets readers know that hope is just waiting to be found.

Aster’s Good, Right Things has been shortlisted in the 2021 CBCA Awards for Younger Readers.



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Each day Aster must do a good, right thing—a challenge she sets herself, to make someone else’s life better. Nobody can know about her ‘things’, because then they won’t count. And if she doesn’t do them, she knows everything will go wrong.

Then she meets Xavier. He wears princess pajamas and has his own kind of special missions to make life better. When they do these missions together, Aster feels free…but if she stops doing her good, right things will everything fall apart?

Award-winning Tasmanian author: Kate won the 2016 IBBY Ena Noel award for Writing Clementine. Kate’s YA novel Girl Running, Boy Falling was a 2019 CBCA Book of the Year Award Notable book.

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