Southern Aurora by Mark Brandi

$32.99

We always listen out for the train when we’re down in the cutting because sometimes they come quicker than you expect. There aren’t as many trains as there used to be. Mostly just the freight ones, like the one that nearly killed us on the bus . . .

The best train is the Southern Aurora. It goes all the way from Melbourne to Sydney, and from Sydney to Melbourne. It stops in Mittigunda because we’re pretty much exactly halfway between.

Jimmy is a kid growing up fast on the poorest street in town. He tries to do everything right and look out for his mum and his younger brother. His older brother is in jail, so it’s up to Jimmy to hold things together. But small-town life is unforgiving if you’re from the other side of the tracks. If only his mum didn’t drink so much. If only he could win the school billycart race. If only his best friend understood. If only he could stop his mum’s boyfriend from getting angry. If only he was there.

Jimmy soon learns that even when you get things right, everything can still go wrong.