The Thing about Oliver

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Deborah Kelly
Release date:
1st October 2019
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Product Overview

Sometimes I feel just like the glass in my fish tank—people look right through me.

Twelve-year-old Tilly dreams of becoming a marine scientist, but she doesn’t even own a swimsuit. She lives in a drought-stricken town with her mum and younger brother Oliver, who is autistic.

Oliver’s meltdowns are making life unbearable. He needs so many different kinds of therapy that there’s never any time—or money—left over for swimming lessons. Tilly knows Oliver’s needs have to come first, but it’s hard feeling invisible all the time.

When Mum announces they are moving to the Queensland coast, Tilly is excited at the thought of finally learning to swim—even snorkel! But she is also worried. The thing about Oliver is, he can’t cope with even the tiniest of changes to his routine.

It isn’t long before the cracks begin to show. Could so many changes all at once threaten to shatter the whole family?


Click here for our Teaching Notes on The Thing About Oliver.

Interested in other formats? The Thing About Oliver is also available as an audiobook and ebook.


Check out our awesome book trailer for The Thing About Oliver on our YouTube!


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