The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Julia is 11 years old when the slowing is announced by experts. That night, the world clock gains 56 minutes due to the slowing of the Earth on its axis. As the Earth continues to slow, minutes and then hours are added to each day. At first people go about their business, but as the clock reaches a 30 hour day, world leaders decide to revert to the 24-hour clock in the hope that life can remain normal. But this decision sees the dividing of society as some people refuse the 24-hour clock and instead choose to follow their circadian rhythm, while others start to get strange symptoms they believe are caused by the slowing.

While all of this is going on, Julia is simply trying to grow up. A loner with few to no friends, Julia dreams of a sad boy at school and deals with some harsh realisations, including that people can disappoint and betray each other. She must also face the fact that just because the world is slowly killing itself and humanity doesn’t mean that she, or anyone else, can give up. Told from the perspective of Julia in her 20s, The Age of Miracles is a scary yet touching coming-of-age novel. Highly recommended for readers 13 and up.

Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.