Deadly Unna? by Phillip Gwynne. Gary Black is one of eight kids, he plays footy, his best mate offers little more than rank farts, and his dad is a moody drunk. His town is split into the section for white Australians and that for the Aboriginal locals. The pub is segregated and racist graffiti and attitudes abound. Gary becomes friends with Dumby, an Aboriginal boy on his team, and after tragedy strikes, Gary realises that he doesn't have to behave the same way as the white people around him.
Though this book was written about 20 years ago it hasn't aged, which makes it still highly readable but also an indictment on how pitifully entrenched our treatment of Aboriginal people is. It made me really angry. When I listened to two American podcasts talk about how racist Australia is this week* I didn't feel defensive, I felt relieved that even though many Australians deny or refuse to acknowledge how we really are as a nation, others can see it clearly.
This book was written with heart and an excellent sense of humour. It was so charming and I found myself lingering on sentences or jokes because they were perfect. One such sentence: "As if on cue the Arksmobile farted into the ground." Gary is referring to the footy ground and he calls his coach Arks because he never says ask but rather 'arks'. I can't wait to share this book with my 13 year old cousin. Thank you for the recommendation @teneille_s Better 20 years later than never 💚 *The podcasts were @callyrgf and @thisistheread both talking about the Herald Sun's cartoon of Serena Williams and their defence of it. If you haven't come across either of the podcasts, check them out.