At My Door, by Deb Fitzpatrick

Deliveries do not come late on a school night. They don’t come in a normal car, that then speeds away. And they don’t cry.

When Poppy hears the doorbell late at night, she wonders what is happening. Then she hears crying, and worried voices. It seems the family has had a late night delivery – but it isn’t a parcel or a letter. It’s a baby. Suddenly the family’s peaceful, ordered life is turned upside down. Where has the baby come from, and why has it been left on their doorstep?

At My Door is an entertaining story about families and familial stress. The issue of the abandoned baby contrasts with the stable life of the traditional family which Poppy is part of of – Mum and Dad, an older brother and Poppy herself. Along with the msyetry of the baby, and the practicalities of helping her, Poppy becomes aware of the difficulties other families face, as will readers.

This is gentle exploration of some potentially weighty issues, a mix which will draw readers in to the story as well as opening up lots of discussion.

At My Door, by Deb Fitzpatrick
Fremantle Press, 2015
ISBN 9781925162707

The Break, by Deb Fitzpatrick

‘…You mean live there?’
The woman next door was clattering about in her garden, shushing the dog when it barked.
‘Well…’ He struggled to get it into his head. ‘Why would we do that, exactly?’…
‘To be our own people,’ she eventually managed, in a whisper.
‘Instead of…’ And he was quiet for a moment. ‘Being other people’s people,’ he said finally.

Rosie can’t be a journalist if it involves chasing ambulances and looking for shock value. Cray has had enough of the fly in fly out lifestyle, especially when it means long stretches away from home. When they throw in their jobs, they decide to make a change, and head down to Margaret River, a place they’ve always loved. But starting again in a place that’s facing challenges of its own might not be all plain sailing.

Fergus and Liza have always lived in Margies, and Fergus runs the farm which his father built up. Their son Sam loves life – watching stars, fishing and swimming in the river, and following his favourite sci-fi serial on the computer his much loved uncle gave him. The only thing he doesn’t like is when his parents fight. Lately they’ve been arguing more, especially about Uncle Mike.

Rosie gets to know Liza and Sam, through their common concern of the effects a big development will have on their favourite piece of coastline. Development, though, proves the least of their worries, when the coastline itself proves a natural enemy.

The Break is a heart-wrenching novel about family, community, loss and change, set in the South West of Western Australia in the 1990s. Though there are parallels with real events,including the Gracetown Cliff Collapse in 1996, this is a work of fiction, allowing readers into the lives of deftly drawn characters and allowing readers to consider one version of how such an event might impact individuals and a community. Fitzpatrick does this with a special touch.

This is Fitzpatrick’s first novel for adults, but would also be suitable for young adult readers.


The Break, by Deb Fitzpatrick
Fremantle Press, 2014
ISBN 9781922089632

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Amazing Spencer Gray, by Deb Fitzpatrick

Sitting at the edge of the oval at lunchtime, Spencer chewed his ham and cheese sandwich while Leon slapped his thigh in excitement.
‘Spence, you utter, utter—-‘ Leon shook his head, unable to finish.
‘I know,’ Spencer nodded, head down, trying not to smile at them too gleefully. ‘Cool, hey.’
‘You’ve got the wickedest dad,’ Charlie said.

Spencer’s mates are pretty impressed when Spencer goes his chance to go up in his dad’s glider, but no one is more excited than Spencer himself. His dad loves flying, and Spencer has been hanging out for years to go up with him. When he finally gets his chance, he finds the experience just as wonderful as he thought it would be. Until the day that they fly into a storm, and Spencer has to use all his reserves of courage to survive.

The Amazing Spencer Gray is a an exciting story of survival, as well as of family and friendship. Spencer and his family have experienced lots of changes, and, like any family, have disagreements and ups and downs. Young readers will enjoy the adventure and the novelty of the gilder scenes. Also attractive is the West Australian setting, with the landscape around Bluff Knoll a feature.

Suitable for primary aged readers, The Amazing Spencer Gray is amazing.

The Amazing Spencer Gray

The Amazing Spencer Gray, by Deb Fitzpatrick
Fremantle Press, 2013
ISBN 9781922089328

Available from good bookstores and online.