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More from Down Under: YA Books Set in Australia

Happy Australia Day! To follow up Sharon Rawlins’s awesome post, “Celebrating YA Authors from Down Under”, today we consider teen books that are set in Australia (and quite often, their authors are Australian, too!).

As I compiled the following map (with the help of Novelist’s location limiter), I came across authors I knew (Melina Marchetta, Markus Zusak), as well as those I didn’t (Brigid Lowry, Karen Foxlee). And I couldn’t help but notice the pins gathered near Sydney, Melbourne, and the southeast in general. As a reader who has never traveled to Australia, I wondered: do these pins reflect population density? Does no one at all live in the center or the north of the country, and that is why no teen books seem to be set there? The Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed this theory. Of course, several books had no specified setting, and perhaps settings involving “the bush” or “the outback” could venture into some of these lesser-pinned areas.

View YA Books Set in Australia in a larger map

This is not an exhaustive map, as I aimed for a diverse spread of locations more than noting every book by the more prolific authors or every book set in the big cities. Which important ones have I forgotten? Let me know in the comments!

— Becky O’Neil, currently reading A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (Australian author! Coincidence, I swear!)

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Rebecca O'Neil

Rebecca (Becky) is a Collection Development Librarian at the Westerville Public Library in Ohio. Her interests include art, keeping the largest to-read list Goodreads has ever known, and searching for a dash of magical realism in everything.


  1. Katie L Katie L

    Stolen by Lucy Christopher takes place in the Australian outback. Also- Looking for Alibrandi (Sydney) and Jellicoe Road (boarding school near Sydney) by Josephine Angelini.

  2. Tamara Tamara

    “I Am the Messenger” came to mind immediately for me because for the first half of the book I kept wondering why it was so warm in London around Christmas-time. It took me forever to realize it was set in Australia! Reader fail.

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