My Most Anticipated Kids and YA August New Releases from Walker Books Australia

Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes

Liverpool, 1940: thirteen-year-old Joan’s home is under threat from the Nazi’s terrifying nightly air-raids. It is not an easy time to be a teenager, especially with the sweet rationing, strict curfews and blackouts. Joan and best friend Doreen love going to the cinema until the bombings intensify and then even that becomes too dangerous, especially when an army deserter is found lurking near their home. Who is he and why does he think Joan can help him? As the Blitz worsens, Joan and her friends make a discovery that will tear the whole community apart…

The Fortelling of Georgie Spider (Book 3 of The Tribe) by Ambelin Kwaymullina

The third and final book in the thrilling eco-dystopian series The Tribe.

A storm was stretching out across futures to swallow everything in nothing, and it was growing larger, which meant it was getting nearer… Georgie Spider has foretold the end of the world, and the only one who can stop it is Ashala Wolf. But Georgie has also foreseen Ashala’s death. As the world shifts around the Tribe, Ashala fights to protect those she loves from old enemies and new threats.

And Georgie fights to save Ashala. Georgie Spider can see the future. But can she change it?

Remix by Non Pratt

From the author of Trouble comes a novel about boys, bands and best mates. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the
love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

Interview with Ambelin Kwaymullina, author of The Tribe

Today I’m joined by Ambelin Kwaymullina, author of the fantastic new futuristic Young Adult series, The Tribe.  The first book in the series, The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf was released last month and if you haven’t heard all the hype about it you can read my review here on the blog.  I caught up with Ambelin to ask her a few questions about her hot new series.

  • What 5 words would you use to describe The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

Wow, it’s really hard to describe your own work!  I guess I can describe what I wanted the story to be…although I think it’s really up to my readers to judge. Here goes:

Mysterious. Dramatic. Thrilling. Smart. Hopeful.

  • What inspired you to write The Tribe series?

Mostly, it was Ashala herself. She is such a strong character, that it would have been impossible for me not to tell her story. From the beginning, the first line of the book has always been the same – ‘He was taking me to the machine.’ Those words followed me around for a few days before I began writing, lurking in my consciousness and demanding that I write more. Then, once I started writing, I had to keep going until I reached the end – I certainly couldn’t leave Ashala trapped in the detention centre!

  • The Tribe has a spiritual connection to the land and the creatures that inhabit it which, I think, makes your story unique. Is this aspect of the story from your own culture?

Yes, it is. Aboriginal people, and Indigenous people from all over the world, have strong connections to our homelands and the ancient spirits of our peoples. Ashala’s world is very different to the one we live in now, of course – the tectonic plates have shifted, creating a single continent, and people no longer make divisions on the basis of race. But Ashala’s ancestors were Aboriginal, so I knew she’d have a deep love for the forest that she lives in. And I knew that her connection to country would be a source of strength and courage for her, the same as it is for Indigenous peoples now.

  • Do you know how the Tribe’s story will end or will you wait to see how the story evolves?

No, I know how it ends. Many of the small details are mysterious to me, but I know where all of the Tribe will be, at the end of the story. And, for this particular story, I think that’s important. I don’t think I could tell it the way that it deserves to be told otherwise.

  • Will we find out more about the abilities of the Tribe and where these came from?

 Oh yes. I didn’t have a lot of narrative space to explore this in the first book, but as the series goes on, readers will find out much more about how all the different abilities function, and what their strengths and limitations are. There’s some tough times coming for the Tribe, too – so they’re all going to have to push themselves, and be able to control their abilities a lot better than most of them can now.

  • How did you find the experience of writing a novel, compared to creating a picture book?

Harder! Much, much harder…also, with picture books, I’d gotten used to being able to pore over every single word until I was satisfied the text was completely perfect. It takes much longer to do that with a novel, which was something I hadn’t realised until I was hopelessly overdue on a deadline.  I think, though, that writing picture books, where you have to tell a complete story in not a lot of text, did teach me to be more disciplined with words than I would have been otherwise. That was helpful. On the other hand, I am going to have to learn to restrain my perfectionist tendencies, or I’ll never get the second book done.

  • What books would you recommend to anyone who enjoyed The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

There’s so much great dystopian fiction, and sci fi/fantasy fiction, for young adults – here’s some I’ve particularly enjoyed: Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series, Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn series, Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, and Moira Young’s Dustlands series.


The next stop on Ambelin’s blog tour is with Celine at

The Tribe: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Walker Books Australia have introduced me to some of my favourite books and authors – Brian Falkner, Lara Morgan, and Patrick Ness.  When they sent me some information about an exciting new series that they were publishing, called The Tribe, I knew that it would be great.  Like many Young Adult novels at the moment, it’s set in a future world, but The Tribe has plenty to set it apart from the rest.

The world has ended. It died in an environmental cataclysm called the Reckoning, brought about by humanity’s abuse of nature.

Three hundred years later, and the society that emerged from the ruins of the old world are obsessed with maintaining “the Balance” between all life. They live in harmony with each other, and the earth. It is almost a perfect world. Except for one thing.

Anyone born with an ability is seen as a threat to the Balance. They are feared, controlled and locked away in detention centres. Ashala Wolf has run away to avoid such a fate. Along with the other runaways she calls her Tribe, she lives in the vast Firstwood. Her Tribe is defying the government –and the government doesn’t like defiance.

Can the Tribe survive their oppressors and transform the world in which they live?

“There will come a day when a thousand Illegals descend on your detention centres. Boomers will breach the walls. Skychangers will send lightning to strike you all down from above, and Rumblers will open the earth to swallow you up from below … And when that day comes, Justin Connor, think of me.”

Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. A man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe – the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind. And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a refreshing, futuristic adventure, full of twists and turns.   The story is like a puzzle that you have to fit together as you read.  At the beginning we don’t know much about Ashala and her life with the tribe, but through her memories we piece together how she came to live in the Firstwood with the rest of the Tribe.  The main part of the story concentrates on the interrogation that Ashala faces at the hands of the Chief Administrator, Neville Rose, who is trying to extract information from her about the Tribe.  All children with abilities are supposed to be rounded up and imprisoned in detention centres so that the government can keep them, and their abilities, under control.  However, the Tribe lives free in the Firstwood and Neville Rose will stop at nothing to find them and capture them.

I really liked Ambelin’s characters, especially Ashala.  Ashala is the leader of the Tribe and a mother-figure for the other children.  She’s incredibly strong and will do anything she can to protect her Tribe and keep them free, including putting herself in danger.  Jaz was the other character who really stood out for me because he’s got heaps of personality.

The main reason The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf stands out from other Young Adult books like it is because of the cultural and spiritual connection that Ambelin has given to her characters.  Each of the Tribe has connections to an animal, which means that they can communicate with them.  For Ashala it’s the wolf, and other characters are connected to crows, spiders, and even the dinosaur-like creatures called Saurs.  When the Tribe first enters the Firstwood they must make a promise to the trees that they will not harm them in any way and that they will protect them if needed.  Ashala also communicates with the spirit of her ancestors who offer advice and protect her along the way. 

The story comes to a satisfying conclusion, with no specific lead-in to the next book, but there is plenty more I want to know about this world.  Why do some children get powers?  What is it like in one of the big cities? Is this the last we see of Neville Rose?  I’ll be eagerly awaiting book two in this exciting new series.

4 out of 5 stars


You can win 1 of 5 signed copies of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf right here on the blog.  Enter your details here to win.

Win a signed copy of The Tribe: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is the action-packed first book in The Tribe, a fantastic new series by Ambelin Kwaymullina.  It has just been released in Australia and New Zealand by Walker Books and they’ve created a very cool website to promote the book.  At you can watch the book trailer, read an extract of the book, find out about the author and the series, and get some free downloads.

Thanks to Walker Books Australia we have 5 signed copies of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf to give away.  All you need to do to get in the draw is read the extract on and answer this question – What is the Question?  Enter the answer, along with your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Friday 13 July (Australia and New Zealand only).