The first young adult work to win the Queensland Literary Awards Best Emerging Author prize since it was established in 1999.
‘Racism is an ugly subject, yet Kasmer uses deft strokes to paint a sympathetic portrayal of a vulnerable girl.’ Christine Bongers, award-winning author of Intruder
Tonight we are wolves. Our pack moves as one, past empty shop fronts and faded billboards.
Sixteen-year-old Rory is in trouble. It’s not that she’s fallen in with the wrong crowd, it’s worse than that: her friends aren’t who they used to be. Directionless, they vent their frustration by trying to start a war with the local immigrant community. Now, Rory’s taken the rap for her mates and she’s stuck doing community service reading to Jack, a feisty ex-boxer in an aged care facility.
When Rory’s cornered in an alley by two young men who have a message for her gang, things start to heat up. But a chance encounter with migrant boxer Essam leads to a burgeoning friendship, and Rory has to find the courage to stand up to her friends – and face her past. Can Rory find a way through her prejudices? And can she become the girl her dad called Aurora?
Extensively researched and inspired by a news report of a racist attack on a Brisbane restaurant, Becoming Aurora is a nuanced portrayal of tensions in a small town.
Praise for Becoming Aurora
‘A sophisticated and compelling exploration of race and identity in Australia and the important decisions teenagers must make in the face of peer pressure, but it always honours storytelling over the weighty themes it handles.’
Judges’ comments, Queensland Literary Awards
‘Elizabeth Kasmer’s lyrical prose and realistic depiction of lost teenagers in regional Queensland drew me, almost unwillingly, into Rory’s story. Becoming Aurora is full of heart and hope – a raw and moving story about fighting the right battles and choosing the right side.’
Interviews & Reviews
ABC Sunshine Coast Interview
Download the Teacher’s Notes HERE.