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WINNER: 2013 Prime Minister’s Award, Children’s Fiction
Mud. In her mouth, her nose and her eyes. Mud in her hair and caked on her neck and her arms. Mud filling her shoes and seeping through the thin cotton weave of her trousers. She lay sprawled on her side, a garbled, barely distinct sound coming from her: jaymartinjaymartin. Her world was mud and pain.
’What’s your name?’ A boy was sitting on a kitchen table floating in a muddy pool. At his feet was a child’s doll, the head lolling to one side.
’jaymartinjaymartin’ she repeated mechanically.
He stepped forward and slapped her hard across the face. ‘Shut up that stupid talk.’
Red can’t remember the cyclone. She can’t remember anything – her name, where she lived, who her family might be. Her identity has been ripped away. Then she makes a discovery, and finds she has an important mission to accomplish. But in this chaotic, bewildering world, can she do it on her own? Who can she trust?
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