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Sonya Hartnett

Author of Surrender

27+ Works 3,209 Members 173 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Sonya Hartnett was born on March 23, 1968 in Victoria. She is an Australian author of fiction for adults, young adults, and children. She was thirteen years old when she wrote her first novel and fifteen when it was published for the adult market in Australia, Trouble All the Way. For years she has show more written about one novel annually. According to the National Library of Australia, "The novel for which Hartnett has achieved the most critical (and controversial) acclaim was Sleeping Dogs" (1995). "A book involving incest between brother and sister and often critiqued as 'without hope', Sleeping Dogs generated enormous discussion within Australia. For her book Thursday's Child, she won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers. Her titles include: The Boy and the Toy, Come Down, Cat!, Sadie and Ratz and The Children of the King. She will be attending the Sydney Writers Festival 2015. She made the shortlist for the Miles Franklin Literary Award with her title Golden Boys. This title also made the 2015 Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlist. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Sonya Hartnett

Surrender (2005) 510 copies
The Silver Donkey (2004) 355 copies
Thursday's Child (2000) 321 copies
Of a Boy (2002) 285 copies
Butterfly (1656) 268 copies
The Ghost's Child (2007) 257 copies
The Midnight Zoo (2010) 210 copies
The Children of the King (2012) 162 copies
Sleeping Dogs (1995) 129 copies
Sadie and Ratz (2008) 127 copies
Golden Boys (2014) 125 copies
Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf (1999) 117 copies
Forest (2001) 58 copies
Princes (1997) 42 copies
All My Dangerous Friends (1998) 38 copies
The Devil Latch (1996) 36 copies
Landscape with Animals (2006) 35 copies
Wilful Blue (1994) 26 copies
Come down, cat! (2011) 26 copies
Black Foxes (1996) 24 copies
Blue Flower (2021) — Author — 17 copies
The Best Australian Stories 2012 (2012) — Editor — 15 copies
The Boy and the Toy (2010) 11 copies
Sparkle & Nightflower (1986) 2 copies
The Glass House (1990) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Best Australian Stories 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Best Australian Stories 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 15 copies
The best Australian stories 2001 (2001) — Contributor — 14 copies


Common Knowledge



Sonya Hartnett has authored many children's books that have a somewhat dark twist to them, so it's little surprise that her adult fiction tends the same way.

Golden Boys is about a group of young children knocking about a typical Australian working-class suburb. The Jensons, who have just moved into the area, are a contrast to their neighbours, being affluent and indulgent of their kids. The Jenson boys want for nothing, and their dad encourages them to share what they have with their new friends. Their dad, Rex, is solicitous and caring, helping to patch up a badly hurt kid, and counselling another.

The Kiley family are both attracted to and repelled by the Jensons. Playing at the Jensons' offers them a refuge from a home dominated by a drunken, abusive father, but there is still some unease about getting too close to their new neighbours. Two other boys, Garrick and Avery, see no such issues; their home lives are so miserable that they welcome the chance to experience the Jensons' indulgence.

It's not hard to see where Hartnett is going with this book, but she still manages to tell her story in a very affecting way, showing the various impacts on the children of the abuses that go on in their fractured families. The ending is uncompromising stuff, and the reader is left with a saddening sense of the unfairness of it all, with innocent children's lives being blighted by the actions of their parents.
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gjky | 16 other reviews | Apr 9, 2023 |
delightful beginning chapter book that would also work as a read aloud/bedtime story (though it's very short and might easily be read in one sitting).
reader1009 | 8 other reviews | Jul 3, 2021 |
SPOILERS... A good quick read that I really enjoyed...buuuut the main character does accidentally kill his brother, was forced to kill his dog, and then murders his parents. So not exactly a pick me up. Probably worth skipping as a class read. Not even sure who I would hand this book to.
rdwhitenack | 24 other reviews | Apr 20, 2021 |
This book was rather dark and depressing. Within the first few chapters, three children go missing, a young boy lists the things he finds frightening (including sea monsters, getting lost in grows, being forgotten at school, and spontaneous combustion), a young man dies in a car crashed by his best friend, and a father dies of cancer. The book is powerfully written — you get a strong impression of who Adrian is and what concerns him day by day — but the conclusion is dark and dreary. I’m not sure that it would really be a good recommendation for younger teens.… (more)
resoundingjoy | 9 other reviews | Jan 1, 2021 |



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Associated Authors

Lucia Masciullo Illustrator
James Bradley Contributor
Bram Presser Contributor
David Sornig Contributor
Jon Bauer Contributor
A. S. Patrić Contributor
Brooke Dunnell Contributor
Erin Gough Contributor
Sean Rabin Contributor
David Brooks Contributor
Eva Lomski Contributor
Emma Schwarcz Contributor
Matt Gabriel Contributor
Michel Dignand Contributor
Kate Simonian Contributor
Zoe Norton Lodge Contributor
Meredi Ortega Contributor
Sarah Holland-Batt Contributor
Liam Davison Contributor
Romy Ash Contributor
Alex Miller Contributor
Marion Halligan Contributor
Rebecca Harrison Contributor
David Francis Contributor
Anthony Lynch Contributor
Greg Bogaerts Contributor
Alan Gould Contributor
David Astle Contributor
Kevin Brophy Contributor
Martin Lindsay Contributor
Chris Womersley Contributor
Ashley Hay Contributor
Laura Carlin Illustrator
Anne Spudvilas Illustrator
Don Powers Illustrator
Helena Ridelberg Translator
Andrea Offermann Illustrator
Jonathan McNaughtt Illustrator


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