Mapping out my favourite parts of Danielle Binks’ novel ‘The Year the Maps Changed’

Title: The Year the Maps Changed
Year: 1999 (Sorrento, Victoria)
Compass: Head south to locate the official synopsis of this debut middle grade novel by Danielle Binks.

Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son, Sam, have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.

Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.

Maps
Beautiful cover illustration by Astred Hicks

Map Key/Legend:

❤️ = This book is full of heart. Fred is such a brilliant main character who is going through a time when there are so many changes to contend with. Not only in her personal life, where she’s dealing with grade six and a family unit that’s evolving into something she’s not quite emotionally ready for. But in the wider world around her too. Fred can be stubborn and put her foot in it at times, but she’s also empathetic, kind and has a strong moral compass.

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