Everyone knows you never judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a book by its length?

Maybe you’re a teacher searching for a book short enough to appeal to your students or you need a novella to suggest for next month’s book club. Perhaps you’re just looking for an enjoyable read you can knock over in a weekend. To meet all your short book needs we’ve selected five of the best Reading Australia books under 200 pages*.


Book cover image for Miss Peabody's Inheritance

1. Miss Peabody’s Inheritance
by Elizabeth Jolley

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]”Miss Peabody’s evenings had become
another world. A world of magic and enchantment. She lived for the evenings and for the time spent with the novelist’s letters and the composing of her own replies.”[/pullquote]

Page count: 157

Essay by Delys Bird
Teacher resource

Book cover image for Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

2. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
by Doris Pilkington

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]“‘We gunna walk alongside it all the way to Jigalong,’ Mary said confidently. It would stand out like a beacon that would lead them out of the rugged wilderness, across a strange country to their homeland.” (p. 110)[/pullquote]

Page count: 136

Essay by Larissa BehrendtTeacher resource


Books cover image for The Red Shoe

3. The Red Shoe
by Ursula Dubosarsky

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]”But as she was looking she saw something she didn’t understand. She wanted to look away but she couldn’t. She kept looking, and she was afraid… Her foot slipped underneath her. And down from the tree, down from her right foot into the depths of the grey-green bush, fell her mother’s red shoe.”[/pullquote]

Page count: 181

Essay by Clare BradfordTeacher resource


Book cover image for The Children's Bach

4. The Children’s Bach
by Helen Garner

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]”She stopped on the slope of the lawn and stared up at the lighted first-floor windows: they were open, and three students, each in a separate room were practising: a piano, a violin, a clarinet. The threads of melody, never meant to combine, mingled and made a pleasant, meaningless discord.” (p. 89)[/pullquote]

Page count: 164

Essay by Bernadette BrennanTeacher resource


Book cover image for Tirra Lirra by the River

5. Tirra Lirra by the River
by Jessica Anderson

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]“Who was I? Nora Porteous, nee Roche, thirty-five, domestic worker, amateur dressmaker, detested concubine, and student of the French subjunctive tense.”[/pullquote]

Page count: 202 (*except for this one…)

Essay by Kerryn GoldsworthyTeacher resource