The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart
Samera Kamaleddine
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9781460762653
Awards Year: 2024
Category: Book of the Year: Younger Readers


Friendship, family and feelings collide in this sparkling middle-grade debut from Matilda Prize winner, Samera Kamaleddine.

Evie Hart likes rules. A lot. But as she embarks on her very last year of primary school, it feels like all the rules around her are being broken.

When Evie's class starts learning about the Earth's place in the universe, it makes Evie think about her own place in the world and where she belongs. Which has her more worried than ever.

When your mum writes a horoscope page for a living, it's hard not to think about what the future holds. Especially when she and the only dad Evie has ever known are acting like they're on different planets.

But the more Evie learns about the sky and the stars, the more she learns that changes in the world can't always be controlled. And maybe that's not a bad thing.

From the inaugural winner of the Matilda Prize comes a tender and moving story about one girl's journey to find her place in the world.

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The CBCA judges say...

This book expertly intertwines Evie’s study of space with the plot of the novel, enabling Evie to learn more about herself as she learns about Earth and the universe. Fond of rules and prone to anxiety, she is challenged by changing friendship dynamics, changing circumstances of her family and transition to high school set against the background of the everchanging night sky. Evie has a strong voice and secondary characters are well-realised, with their voices, hopes and fears challenging Evie and the reader to think deeply about themselves and others. With a visually inviting cover featuring Evie amongst the planets, this is a quality book that will appeal to many readers in the Younger Reader category.


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Reading Time reviewers say...

The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart is the second novel from Matilda Children’s Literature prize-winning author Samera Kamaleddine. As heart-warming and authentic as Half my Luck, this story is about 12-year-old Evie, her friends, frenemies, family, and her quest to understand life, the universe, and everything. Evie is lucky enough to have Miss Owen as a teacher, and through Evie, we hear how Miss Owen takes the Year 6 class through learning about the wonders and boundless curiosities of space. For Evie, keeping her mind grounded through the daily worries of life on Earth feels hard enough, never mind trying to understand where she fits into the inconceivable vastness of gazing into the night sky. Despite changes looming in family life, and the alien world of high school on the horizon, Miss Owen’s big questions about the universe provide Evie with strangely cosmic comfort.

Samera Kamaleddine’s second middle grade novel is The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart. Evie Hart is a 12-year-old girl who lives her life in a happy family. However, she is facing personal problems. She manages ticks and flashes and on occasions has a fainting fit. Evie Hart has the support of her mother and stepdad Lee. She likes rules and this helps her manage her life. While she is teased by a classmate Nicole about her ticks and her strange eye movements, she has the support by her teacher and school. She also has good friends like Farrah and old Nance O’Neill who brings over pink iced buns every Wednesday. Everything seems in order, until Evie discovers that her stepdad Lee is moving to Dubbo to build a bridge...


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