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*.

1. Miss Peabody’s Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley

“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.”

Page count: 157



2. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington

“‘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)

Page count: 136

Essay by Larissa Behrendt Teacher resource


3. The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky

“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.”

Page count: 181

Essay by Clare Bradford Teacher resource

4. The Children’s Bach by Helen Garner

“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)

Page count: 164

Essay by Bernadette Brennan Teacher resource

5. Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson

“Who was I? Nora Porteous, nee Roche, thirty-five, domestic worker, amateur dressmaker, detested concubine, and student of the French subjunctive tense.”

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

Essay by Kerryn Goldsworthy Teacher resource