Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Cath Moore

Metal Fish, Falling Snow
Text Publishing Co
2 July 2020

Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Cath Moore

Shortlisted for the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2021

Dylan and her adored French mother dream of one day sailing across the ocean to France. Paris, Dylan imagines, is a place where her black skin won’t make her stand out, a place where she might feel she belongs.

 But when she loses her mother in a freak accident, Dylan finds herself on a very different journey- a road trip across outback Australia in the care of her mother’s grieving boyfriend, Pat. As they travel through remote towns further and further from the water that Dylan longs for, she and Pat form an unlikely bond. One that will be broken when he leaves her with the family she has never known.

 Metal Fish, Falling Snow is a warm, funny and highly original portrait of a young girl’s search for identity and her struggle to deal with grief. Through families lost and found, this own-voices story celebrates the resilience of the human heart and our need to know who we truly are.

‘Breathtaking…one of the most moving books I’ve read in ages.’ Vikki Wakefield


Her mother has passed away, and now Dylan has to leave her small rural home town of Beyen, in the company of her mother’s boyfriend, Pat. Dylan and Pat drive towards the ocean and the boat that Dylan is convinced will take her to Paris, in the country where her mother was born.

The road there is winding, hot and dusty; beer salesman Pat drops in on pubs along the way to check on his accounts, and to play the pokies too. Dylan and Pat are locked into their own separate grief, and don’t understand each other most of the time. Fourteen-year-old Dylan’s way of being in the world, and her unique internal logic, chafe against everything around her, leading to a string of accidents and incidents that test Pat’s patience. When they reach their unexpected destination, Dylan comes face to face with part of her family and a side of herself she’s never wanted to own.

This wonderful Australian debut paints a whirling, raging, intense portrait of a teen who experiences the world in ways that she struggles to communicate to others. The reader is taken deep into Dylan’s mind and heart and senses, in ways that are sometimes deeply humorous, and at other times deeply painful. Layers of ideas about race, identity, grief and family run through this book, but the focus never wavers from Dylan’s funny and profound voice. This is a really moving, original and thought-provoking novel. For ages 13+.

Leanne Hall is the children’s specialist for Readings online. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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