I write books for children and young adults! This includes picture books and middle grade novels, as well as novels for older readers. Whatever I'm writing, and wherever my story is set, I always write to find the beauty, hope, strength and love that is hidden within those stories - even if it's in the hard places.
The Other Brother
(a picture book)
(a picture book)
Illustrated by: Heidi Cooper Smith
Jayden James thought his family of five was perfect – until last Wednesday when Mitchell David arrived.
Now the car’s too small, picnics are ruined and no one’s paying attention to Jayden anymore. Jayden knows something needs to be done. And he’s the only one who can do it!
A gentle story about acceptance, belonging and what it means to be family.
Release date: 28 February 2020
Publisher: Wombat Books, Australia.
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Out of the Cages
(a novel for YA+)
(a novel for YA+)
Winner of the 2019 CALEB Prize: Young Adult Fiction Category
Fifteen-year-old Meena has given up all hope of ever escaping the brothel.
For three years she’s locked away her memories – of home, of her childhood friend, of what it means to hope. But when a botched police raid offers her a chance at freedom, Meena must face the truth about her past.
As she attempts to piece her life back together, the memories she has buried deep inside begin to resurface. Meena realises escaping the brothel is only the beginning of what it means to be free.
Can she face the truth in her memories? Can she return to Nepal if it means returning alone? Or will she face the red-light district one last time?
‘Sometimes it’s ourselves we need to trust again…’
Release date: 1 July 2018
Publisher: Rhiza Edge, Australia.
'Out of the Cages reveals the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual suffering of young girls trafficked into global systems of prostitution. Young adult readers will gain insight into the deception, the betrayal of trust, the systemic collusion, and, above all, the extreme suffering of vulnerable girls whose bodies have become fodder to fuel a global industry. I hope this book will compel all who read it to do all they can to bring an end to sexual slavery.'
Melinda Tankard Reist, writer, speaker, activist.
'As the CEO of Destiny Rescue Australia, I see and hear of these atrocities every single day. Penny has captured the strength & determination of Meena beautifully as a shining example of all rescued children. A truly riveting read! The only way evil can triumph is if good people do nothing.'
Michelle Winser | CEO, Destiny Rescue Australia
'Out of the Cages is a moving and engaging story, which I will be confident to recommend to our older students. I think Penny has done a masterful job of conveying the brutal violence, humiliation and despair experienced by girls such as Meena and Putail without the need for graphic or gratuitous descriptions of the sex trade. Combined with the betrayal and guilt felt by Meena, the description of the girls’ treatment places the hope and rehabilitation offered by the Little Sister team in its stark context of reality.'
Philip Cooney, Librarian, Wycliffe Christian School.