Publisher's synopsis

A funny and heartwarming queer Indigenous YA novel, set in a rural Australian community, about seventeen-year-old Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is, even if it scares him.

‘I don’t paint so much anymore,’ I say, looking to my feet.

‘Oh. Well, I got a boy who needs to do some art. You can help him out,’ Aunty Pam says, like I have no say in the matter, like she didn’t hear what I just said about not painting so much anymore. ‘Jackson, this is Tomas. He’s living with me for a little while.’

It’s a hot summer, and life’s going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he’s hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city – but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them… As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret – a secret he thought he’d locked away for good.

Compelling, honest and beautifully written, The Boy from the Mish is about first love, identity, and the superpower of self-belief.

Upcoming resource


  • Longlisted Best Designed Young Adult Cover, Australian Book Design Awards 2022 AU
  • Notable Book Book of the Year: Older Readers, CBCA Awards 2022 AU
  • Shortlisted IBBY Australia Ena Noël Award 2022 AU
  • Shortlisted Young Adult Fiction Award, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2022 AU
  • Shortlisted Young Adult Book of the Year, Indie Book Awards 2022 AU
  • Shortlisted Indigenous Writing Prize, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2022 AU
  • Winner Favourite Australian Debut Book, Booktopia FAB Awards 2021 AU
  • Shortlisted Griffith University Young Adult Book Award, Queensland Literary Awards 2021 AU
  • Shortlisted Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2021 AU

Complementary content