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I tried to be forgettable. That’s how I survived.’

I tried to be forgettable. That’s how I survived.’

The shadow girl never imagined she'd live on the streets. After her parents disappear, life with her aunt and uncle takes a sinister turn. Terrified that the authorities will believe her uncle over her, she flees. She tricks her way into a new school and pretends to have a loving family. No one knows she sleeps in rail yards, sand dunes and abandoned houses. At school she meets the author she will call on years later. Together they piece together the story of how she survived, who helped her, and the friend she wishes she could have saved.

Thrilling, profound and blackly funny, The Shadow Girl is John Larkin's best and most important novel to date.


‘Tragic, comic and epic, The Shadow Girl is as devastating as it is inspiring.’

-- Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

‘The Shadow Girl is a white-knuckled thriller with a sassy main character and a terrifying villain, all bundled in with laugh-out-loud moments and savage examinations of what people believe.’

- James Roy, author of Hunting Elephants, Town and Anonymity Jones

‘A compelling tale of lost innocence, truth, lies and survival. John Larkin has created an unforgettable character who will take your breath away.’

-- Jacqueline Harvey, author of the Alice-Miranda series

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 3, 2011

    Woolshed Press

    416 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    September 28, 2011

    RHA eBooks Child

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by John Larkin

The Pause
Ghost Byte
Spaghetti Legs


Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Alice-Miranda At School 1
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Midnight Jewel
Noughts & Crosses
If I Stay
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Why I Love Footy
Thirteen Reasons Why
Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK10)
The Witches
A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares
You Choose AFL: Footy Fever
Pippa's Island 1: The Beach Shack Cafe
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Juliet, Nearly a Vet collection 1
Friday Barnes 6: Danger Ahead
Library Of Souls