One True Thing

Nicole Hayes

One True Thing
Random House Australia
1 May 2015

One True Thing

Nicole Hayes

Winner of the Children’s Peace Literature Award 2015


When is a secret not a secret? When your whole life is public.

Frankie is used to being a politician’s daughter, but with her mum now running for Premier, life’s a whole lot crazier than usual. All Frankie wants is to lose herself in her music. So when her best friend, Kessie, invites a student journo to interview the band, Frankie is less than thrilled. But Jake’s easy to talk to, and he seems to really like Frankie. That doesn’t stop her from wondering if he’s just after the ultimate scoop, especially when photos surface of Frankie’s mum having a secret rendezvous with a younger man.

With her family falling apart around her, Frankie is determined to find out the truth - even if it means losing Jake.


Imagine being 16 and dealing with life’s challenges – the pressure of school, the demands of family, the complexities of friendship. Now imagine that (on top of all that) your mother is the Premier of Victoria in the throes of a major election and you are thrust into the public spotlight. That should give you some idea of Frankie’s predicament.

But Frankie’s got a pretty good handle on things – she’s got her music (and her band), a best buddy, a supportive loving family and now romance in the form of the gorgeous Jake who’s appeared out of nowhere and is genuinely interested in her.

Although the political backdrop is an unusual setting in young adult literature, Frankie’s story is compellingly familiar – she’s balancing family, friendship and struggling to belong. But unlike most teenagers she’s figuring things out under the watchful eye of an unforgiving media.

This is a terrific coming of age story with an incredibly likable protagonist. Highly recommended for ages 13 and up.

Athina Clarke

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