The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough
Gary Lonesborough’s debut YA novel is an extraordinary coming-of-age story of first love, community and discovering who you are. Seventeen-year-old Jackson lives with his family on the Mish in rural NSW. It’s summer, and Jackson’s aunty and cousins are visiting from Sydney. This year, they’ve brought Tomas with them, and Jackson is stuck sharing his room and showing Tomas around.
Jackson has just broken up with his girlfriend, and he’s struggling with his conflicted feelings and confronting parts of himself he has always kept secret. Tomas has just gotten out of a juvenile detention centre, and he’s trying to figure out where he might fit in the world and how to avoid any more trouble. They’re both a little lost, unsure of their futures and who they want to be. As the two grow closer, feelings surface and a relationship forms between them.
Lonesborough is a young Yuin man, and The Boy from the Mish is an Own-Voices story that explores identity, masculinity, racism, belonging, queerness, art and more. Authentic, funny and rich in themes to discuss, this book should be on the radar of both general YA readers and every English teacher and school librarian.
At its heart, this novel is a gorgeous and compelling love story between two Aboriginal boys. It’s the kind of gentle, tender romance that will make your heart swell, and leave you thinking about Jackson and Tomas long after you’ve finished. For ages 14+.