Above by Leah Bobet
Safe is a secret community underground where freaks and outcasts are safe from persecution by the Whitecoats, who want to do tests on them and keep them locked up. But Safe is no longer a haven when it is invaded by mad Corner and his crew of shadows. Safe’s leader is killed and the survivors escape to the world known only as Above, where they must attempt to pass as normal humans.
Matthew was born underground, and looks normal, but his mother had gills and his father had lion’s feet. He has been entrusted with the stories of all the people of Safe, along with responsibility for the traumatised but beautiful shapeshifter, Ariel. How he manages to discover the truth about his beloved Ariel and uncover the stories of Safe is a strange, unique, but highly engaging story.
Above is an unusual book suitable for readers 12 and up.
Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda, mother to a three year-old, and the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating.