Romper Stomper

I was surprised at the outrage over Romper Stomper. The idea that the film promotes racist behaviour is nonsense. Besides the book is different. Jocelyn has let us know Gabe, and we learn about the Vietnamese to make their characters work in the book. – Heyward (Text Publishing)

Metal Skin

Hard-driving, womaniser Dazey is idolised by Psycho Joe, loved by Roslyn, lusted after by Savina – a lethal mix. Harewood has put the characters into perspective in a book which almost smells of oil and petrol and burning rubber. – Copas

Harewood incorporates all the hysteria and noise of the film into her fast moving novel, and displays a grasp of car talk that would floor many a motor mechanic. – Dougherty (Diamond Valley News)

This is a strong tale of those who are losers, and the way they cannot win, despite their best efforts. – SD (Reading Time)

Voices in the Wash-House

Light-hearted, with a lively use of dialogue, Harewood’s story focusses on a teenage boy whose confinement to bed doesn’t lessen his involvement with the outside world. (Alan Marshall Prize)

The back cover says this book is for teenagers. It is also a survival manual for parents who are blessed with teenage people and don’t know it. – Dormer (Hidden Agenda)

Worms in the Night

Delightful. A touching and humorous tale, told through the eyes of fifteen-year-old Penny, with hilarious ups and downs as she deals with her father and friends, death, crosswords, how to dye her hair and all sorts of things teenagers need to know about. – McGuiness-Howard (The Record)

The story of Penny is an exploration of adolescent sex, of its thrills and its letdowns. She makes great efforts to help a dyslectic boy, with resounding success. The book is grouse, in the teenage slang of the book. – Elliott (The Canberra Times)

Worms in the Night is a story about youthful vision and courage told with an engaging touch of humour. The use of four-letter words gives Worms a language relevant to teenagers. – Green (The Sunday Mail)

Movement on the Sofa

Perr has failed Year Eleven and the sofa is the venue for exchanges of all sorts. I enjoyed the comedy, but I found the book quite sad in many ways because the situations the characters have to work through are realistic. – Appleton (rippa reading)

Stepping on Mussels

A rip-roaring yarn full of the energetic life of teenagers, cafes and art galleries, foreign food, swimming, fluorescent condoms… Lots of action, fast dialogue, heaps of laughs as the teens bumble through life (and France). – HW (New Englander)

From mundane urban life to the excitement and glamour of international jet-setting, Stepping on Mussels is pacey and fun. It’s a crazy time as two teenagers hit the bright Paris lights and their views on Europe are spot-on. (Heidelberger)

Peregrine presents a gangly adolescent male view of the world and lives life to the max, with dramatic enjoyment that explodes off the page. What takes this a cut above just entertainment is the ironic counterpoint of his effect on others – we feel for those who love him to exasperation. – Hunter (ABR)

Reading Stepping on Mussels made me smile and sigh at the memories of my first overseas trip. This is an Australian rite of passage. The transformation of depressed, dope-smoking Skegs into motivated lover Gary is both moving and convincing and Perr’s own changes are equally effective. Read and enjoy. (Viewpoint)


Vibrant and funny, Spiked is a rare insight into the hearts and minds of teenagers and their parents. The hero’s anti-social behaviour is linked to his fast-food diet. It is also a love story, following the budding romance between Steven and Jenny. – Haythorne (Diamond Valley News)

The opening sentence of Spiked plunges us into another of Harewood’s laconic, colloquial stories about Melbourne teenagers. Steven has manic rages and the tension is heightened when he and Jenny fall in love. The closing pages are as powerful as the opening ones. – Ponting (Viewpoint)

The Killing of Genevieve & Other Stories

‘Without Thinking’ takes on the crisis of family life. What makes this story stand out is its irony and humour, combined with confident storytelling about domestic desperation. – Hanrahan (Judah Waten Competition)