Location: FIV ABD
Genre: Youth Fiction- Cultural
"In many ways it is a modern Aussie suburban interpretation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’– A boy. A girl. Two families.... "
"It's so much easier to live in a world where everything is black and white "
Michael is drawn to his new classmate Mina, but they're on opposite sides of an issue that's tearing their town apart. His parents are part of an anti-immigration group, while her family have fled their besieged home in Afghanistan. As tensions rise, lines are drawn and both must decide what they want their world to look like, no matter the cost.
"I'd forgotten about how truly uneven the world is. Some people get marble and luxury and urban chic; others get slums and open sewerage and payday-to-payday."
Michael is a teenager growing up in Sydney’s North Shore. He gets good grades, has great mates, and parents whom he describes as ‘good people’ – but for most of his life they’ve been ‘angry about almost everything.’ Michael’s Dad is so angry and riled up, in fact, that he’s founded an organisation called ‘Aussie Values’ – rallying a group of like-minded people who want to “stop the boats” and the “Islamisation of Australia”.
Mina grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. She and her family escaped the war-torn city then travelled to Pakistan, where they were interred in an equally uncertain and unsafe refugee camp, before booking passage on a leaky boat to the safety of Australia. From there her family were placed in a detention centre, where they waited until being granted asylum. That was ten years ago, and these days Mina’s family couldn’t be happier – especially since she’s just been granted a scholarship to a prestigious private school for the next two years.
Michael attends an ‘Aussie Values’ rally, against asylum seekers.
Mina attends the same rally, supporting asylum seekers.
The next time they meet will be at Michael’s North Shore high school, where Mina’s just won a scholarship.