3.22 (987 ratings by Goodreads)
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On the verge of her fourteenth birthday, Plum knows her life will change. But she has no idea how.

Over the coming weeks, her beautiful neighbour Maureen will show her how she might fly. Her adored older brothers will court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist. And her friends - her worst enemies - will tease and test, smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down.

Who ever forgets what happens when you're fourteen?

'Lucid and beautiful, compassionate yet unflinching, enigmatic yet touching, sometimes tragic sometimes funny ... a writer at the height of her powers.' Sophie Masson, Weekend Australian

'Rich, visceral ... Hartnett's tiny domestic insights unleash a tornado of human experience.' Herald Sun

'Hartnett's prose is breathtakingly good ... Will make adult female readers shiver with gladness at being all grown up.' Big Issue
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 132 x 196 x 17mm | 175g
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • 0143203053
  • 9780143203056
  • 1,521,149

About Sonya Hartnett

Sonya Hartnett's work has won numerous Australian and international literary prizes and has been published around the world. Uniquely, she is acclaimed for her stories for adults, young adults and children. Her accolades include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Of A Boy), The Age Book of the Year (Of A Boy), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (Thursday's Child), the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for both Older and Younger Readers (Forest, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, The Midnight Zoo and The Children of the King), the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (Surrender), shortlistings for the Miles Franklin Award (for both Of a Boy and Butterfly) and the CILP Carnegie Medal (The Midnight Zoo). Hartnett is also the first Australian recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2008).

In 2014, Hartnett published a new novel for adults, Golden Boys, and her third picture book, The Wild One.
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Rating details

987 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 15% (144)
4 28% (279)
3 31% (307)
2 18% (174)
1 8% (83)

Our customer reviews

Plum is a fruit sitting unripened on the vine, she is round and awkward and unattractive. Aria is a song, beautiful and stylish, with the potential for fame and stardom. But Ariella Coyle is a butterfly. Plum has always felt out of place, her family is not like other families, her house is not like other houses, and she is not like other girls. Plum is at that age where change is everywhere, she is growing up, no longer a child but still is treated like one. Nothing is under her control, her friends, her family, her body. It's not easy turning fourteen. Plum has trouble fitting in, she is unsure of herself and her place in the world, in other words she is a teenager. Plum, however, has a secret weapon; hidden deep under her bed Plum has stored her most sacred possessions that are able to give her strength and courage. There is also the 'sister' she never had, a secret friend just over the fence. But what is left for Plum when her world comes crashing down, and her secret possessions under the bed are no longer there for her, her secret friend a friend no more? Butterfly is the story of growing up and learning that life is messy. Life is change. There are traumas and teasing and lies, but there is also understanding and selfless acts of love. This is a charming story of family, friends and life, which speaks to everyone who is about to turn fourteen, or anyone who has ever been fourteen. A greatly enjoyable book that has something for everyone.show more
by Larissa McGrath
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