Becoming Aurora

Winner of the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards, Emerging Writer Category. Tonight we are wolves. Our pack moves as one, past empty shop fronts and faded billboards. Sixteen-year-old Rory is at a crossroads in her life. While her gang plans its next move in a racially motivated turf war, Rory is sentenced to spend her summer at an aged care facility. She’s proud of taking the rap for a crime her gang committed and reading to a feisty old boxing champion isn’t going to change that.

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But what happens when Rory’s path intersects with migrant boxer Essam’s and she becomes the victim, not the perpetrator? Can she find the courage to face her past and become the girl her dad called Aurora? PRAISE FOR BECOMING AURORA ‘Elizabeth Kasmer’s lyrical prose and realistic depiction of lost teenagers in regional Queensland drew me, almost unwillingly, into Rory’s story. Racism is an ugly subject, yet Kasmer uses deft strokes to paint a sympathetic portrayal of a vulnerable girl, running with the wrong pack. Rory’s need to belong blinds her to the consequences of breaking into and trashing a curry restaurant with her friends. She is left to shoulder the blame alone and sentenced to community service at an aged care facility, driving a wedge between her and her friends. She meets curmudgeonly ex-boxer Jack, and later, his refugee protégé Essam, who challenge her prejudices about ‘others’ and how they might fit into her world. New influences and meaningful work shape her days and slowly begin to rebuild her. Rory becomes Aurora, the person her dead father believed in – stronger, kinder, more considerate and responsible. Becoming Aurora is full of heart and hope – a raw and moving story about fighting the right battles and choosing the right side.’ CHRISTINE BONGERS, AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT AUTHOR

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