The Stars at Oktober Bend

The Stars at Oktober Bend

3.78 (745 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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SHORT-LISTED: 2016 QLD Premier's Literary Awards, Young Adult BooksAlice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone, but something inside her is broken. She has acquired brain injury, the result of an assault, and her words come out slow and slurred. But when she writes, heartwords fly from her pen. She writes poems to express the words she can't say and leaves them in unexpected places around the town. Manny was once a child soldier. He is sixteen and has lost all his family. He appears to be adapting to his new life in this country, where there is comfort and safety, but at night he runs, barefoot, to escape the memory of his past. When he first sees Alice, she is sitting on the rusty roof of her river-house, looking like a carving on an old-fashioned ship sailing through the stars.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 198mm | 268g
  • Allen & Unwin Children's Books
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 1743315899
  • 9781743315897
  • 666,338

Review quote

'An absolute tour de force! So beautifully written and with an unforgettable narrative "voice" this is definitely one of the outstanding reads of the year so far' Joy Court, Chair: CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals

'The Stars at Oktober Bend is so beautifully and so carefully written it seems each word is pure gold ... Out of terrible crimes evolves a story of forgiveness and redemption, told with passion, heart and humour; it is unforgettable.' Books for Keeps, children's books magazine

'It was absolutely luminous; I couldn't stop reading it, and when I finally forced myself to put it down I couldn't stop thinking about it. Alice and Manny are so beautifully drawn, and their stories are so explored with such care: she may write, and he may run - but together they fly.' Maggie Harcourt, YA author

'Millard gets the balance exactly right between literary fiction and a darn good story. Recommended for teens and adults!'

'Beautifully told through the eyes and words of two protagonists, damaged emotionally and physically, I was willing Alice and Manny to find a way to happiness through the small-town bigotry of Oktober Bend. The writing is quirky, poetic and haunting. Surrounded by rising floodwaters, the ending had me on the edge of my seat.' Sarah Stuffins, Treasurer FCBG

'This is a story about finding yourself ... a book that will become an Australian classic because it will speak to so many people at different ages about being lost, about being broken, about feeling left behind by people. It's so beautifully written. Glenda Millard goes from strength to strength in her writing.' Sarah Mayor Cox on OzYAY, with Rhianna Patrick, on ABC Radio

'...Glenda Millard always writes eloquently, poetically and tenderly. This time, however, she has surpassed herself. This story is a work of art; it's a song of love, forgiveness and acceptance, and it's beautiful and wistful and achingly tender. There aren't enough words to describe the wonder of this book.' Good Reading Magazine

'There is so much craft in this novel, all of it sewn into the lining so that we don't stop to admire it or comment. Your heart will be in your mouth, and you will be cheering and hoping and believing that something new and good will come.' Mike Shuttleworth, Australian Children's Literature Alliance

'Millard tiers Leonard Cohen's Anthem with her own lyrical images of birds, feathers and flight, as well as light through cracks. Her sensory prose is filled with sound and colour and creates a sense of hope for the broken...' Weekend Australian

'... A truly eye opening read which presents an astounding view of the world through a relatable style of writing, making this an unforgettable work of fiction.' Read Plus

'It's like The Little Prince and Tuck Everlasting in that it's so philosophical and touching that adults will fall in love with it too.' Tearaway TV, New Zealand
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About Glenda Millard

Glenda Millard is a highly respected author who writes for children of all ages. Her novel A Small Free Kiss in the Dark was the Winner of the 2009 Queensland Premier's Award for young adults, Honour Book in the 2010 CBCA awards for older readers, shortlisted for the 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and included on the Honour List for the 2012 International Board of Books for Young People. Books from her popular Kingdom of Silk series have also received individual awards. Her novel, The Novice, was chosen for a White Raven Award in 2006. Glenda has also written many picture books, including The Duck and the Darklings, illustrated by Stephen Michael King, which was Winner of the 2016 WA Premier's Literary Awards for children's books and shortlisted in the 2015 CBCA awards.
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Rating details

745 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 31% (229)
4 32% (239)
3 25% (187)
2 9% (64)
1 3% (26)
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