Written by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
The Things She’s Seen is a groundbreaking ghost story written by the brother and sister duo of Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. This is a magnificently written novel, that also brings to light Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and its people, who are underrepresented voices in Young Adult literature.
The Things She’s Seen is an #ownvoices novel, narrated by Beth, who was an Aboriginal Biracial young woman from Australia that passed away in a car accident.
Beth’s dad is a detective that is still grieving from her death but decides to return to work as he is committed to finding justice for a possible deadly fire at a children’s home.
Not only is Beth’s dad dealing with grief, he is also seeing Beth’s ghost as he continues to do his investigation on the on-going arson case; Beth continuously shows her supernatural activities to aid him in the investigation and lead to a resolution.
As the story unfolds through the investigation by Beth and her Dad, a young woman named Isobel Catching becomes an integral part of the story and shares information with Beth that astonished Beth and motivates her to learn about Australia’s history of colonization.
The Things She’s Seen brings together paranormal aspects merged with magical realism and historical context. Through the combination of these concepts the novel explores themes such as grief, racism, violence, justice, and corruption that is well-layered and explored throughout the novel. It’s an #ownvoices novel that highlights resiliency, survival and empowering women, plus giving a voice to Aborignal people not often represented as in Young Adult literature.
Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina are a brother-sister team of Aboriginal writers who come from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Things She’s Seen, their first joint young adult novel (published as Catching Teller Crow in Australia), received rave reviews and won multiple awards, including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Young Adult Fiction and the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel. They have previously collaborated on a number of short novels and picture books. Ambelin is also the author of The Tribe series of novels, including The Foretelling of Georgie Spider, The Disappearance of Ember Crow, and The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf.
Elisa A. Garcia is a Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the New York Public Library. She is motivated to foster a love of reading in reluctant teen readers and therefore strives to introduce them to a diverse world and experiences through books. Mentoring new librarians, Elisa has savored the opportunity to broaden her scope in promoting diversity in librarianship by building on her love to help our communities and instilling in others the passion she has for libraries and readers as a whole.