Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mallee Boys” as Want to Read:
Mallee Boys
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mallee Boys

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  32 reviews
'Sometimes I feel like I'm neither one thing nor another. I live in the Mallee but I don't like the desert. I live on a farm but I get hay fever and I'm scared of goats. I like school but my best mates don't.'

Sandy Douglas knows that life at fifteen is hard, but it's even harder when your mother died a year ago and nothing's gone right since. Sandy's brother Re
Paperback, 205 pages
Published September 30th 2017 by Wakefield Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mallee Boys, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mallee Boys

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mallee Boys is an enthralling novel that captures the unique voices and lives of two young brothers living in rural Australia as they bridge the gap from childhood to adulthood. Parties, schooling, farming, deadly snakes, grief and loss, family, and friends, Mallee Boys encompasses the simplicity of everyday life and the many complications it brings.

Sandy has only months left of Year Ten. Months to decide if or where he can continue his schooling. Red is happy his school days are behind him. No
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As the dust blows through the arid Mellee district, fifteen year old Sandy Douglas contemplates life beyond the farm. Eighteen year old Josh labours alongside their father, a widowed man providing for his family through adversity.

Deliberating his education and applying for scholarships to boarding schools in Adelaide, Sandy is an academic, an intelligent and sensitive young man burdened by the loss of his mother, his humility and sensitivity is nurtured by his father. Tom Douglas is
A coming of age story is a story featuring a teen who makes the scary step from child to adult. MALLEE BOYS is just such a story. Sandy and Red both go through tremendous growth by the time the story ends. For those who don’t know, the Mallee region it is located in the north west of the State of Victoria in Australia. It is semi-arid and flat with mostly sandy soil. Wheat, Barley and sheep are the main produce – but the wild flowers in spring are an amazing sight. This is the back drop to the s ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Both my last read, John Clanchy’s Sisters, and this one, Charlie Archbold’s Mallee boys, are family stories with a guilt about the death of a family member at their centre. Both, too, are set in non-urban areas, Clanchy’s in coastal New South Wales and Archbold’s in the dry Mallee region of western Victoria. Here, though, the similarities end. Clanchy’s book chronicles a month in the lives of three late-middle-aged sisters, and the person who died was their four-year-old baby brother – a long ti ...more
Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), car accident, alcohol abuse, serious injury to an animal.

It's possible I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have if it weren't for the fact that someone told me the protagonist is Aboriginal when he's not. Womp.

I think the best way to describe this book is "quiet". And yet at the same time, it's not a quiet book, because a) it's pretty short and b) there's a surprising amount of action in it. And yet the whole time I was read
Sarria Butler
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
For a first novel, Charlie Archbold did quite well. As someone who grew up in the country and moves to Adelaide, much like one of the characters is thinking of doing, it felt true to what a lot of country kids go through.
I reckon it would be a fab book to do an essay on for year 8 and up. This could be paired excellently with Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwyne for a comparative essay.
Kylie Purdie
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cbc-2018
This is the third book shortlisted by the Children's Book Council of Australia for their Book of the Year award.Children's Book Council of Australia for their Book of the Year award.
I love YA books that showcases the Australian landscape and Mallee Boys does just that. Even better is shows both sides - Sandy who desperate to leave and explore the wider world and Josh who wants to stay and everything to stay the same.
I have a close friend who lost her husband suddenly over three years ago now. What I know
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, books-i-own
Why is this so accurately Australian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodie Warner
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-ya
I SO wanted to love this but I didn’t. Mallee Boys is the first novel by teacher turned writer Charlie Archbold. This won her the Adelaide Writer’s Festival Unpublished Manuscript award but I feel it needed another edit before it was published!

Mallee Boys tells the story of Red and Sandy, two brothers from a small farming town in the Mallee who are grieving the recent death of their mother, Ellie, from an awful accident. Red is angry and doesn’t know how to deal with his grief and Sa
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mallee Boys tells the story of two brothers living on a farm in the Mallee country of Victoria. Sandy is in Year 10 and enjoys school but is prone to daydreaming. Achieving his goal of becoming an engineer means he must try and get into a boarding school in Melbourne or Adelaide next year. Red is eighteen and left school in Year 10. He works on the family farm with his Dad but he’s angry and self-destructive and has started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Behind these two, very different, brot ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great, down to earth read that captures the hardness of life on the land along with the mateship and community togetherness. Told alternatively by two brothers, Red (young man) and Sandy (16) with insight and depth, Archbold weaves a story of loss, new loves, mates and aspirations. Authentic voices, setting and challenges make this a great read because it does not do anything in excess - but harmonises, dialect, the harshness and beauty of the landscape and different ways people express grief. ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Atkinson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loveozya
Reading from the CBCA Shortlist 2018.
After a great review from my co-worker, I went in with high expectations and wasn't disappointed. This smoothly, written novel is about two very different brothers with classic coming-of-age hurdles to deal with at the respective ages of 16 & 18. The family grief they've recently experienced overshadows their choices and eventually brings them together in a tale of adventure, romance, in an atmospheric small-town Australian setting.
Rhys Wood
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very easy to read. A simple story of two brothers coming to terms with big changes in their life following the death of their mother. It is slightly stereotypical of country Australian life, but in that sense it's also fairly accurate with its depiction of country Australian life. It's very male focused but also looks a lot of issues males encounter, particularly struggles with mental health.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The loss of a mother, the grief and the guilt and finally the acceptance of a father and his two very different sons. Love and loyalty battle with anger and outside influences in this story The background of the Mallee is an integral part of the book as are the values of a country town and its inhabitants. Very well done as a debut novel.
Sean Harding
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two brothers dealing with life the future relationships under the cloud of the grief of the recent death of their mother in this well written story alternating perspectives, where the voices actually sounded different enough. A good read, it would be great to revisit the characters as they age.
Kerri Jones
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A contender for the CBCA award 2018 I am so glad I’m dedicated to reading the shortlist as I may have missed this tender story of two brothers (written from their POV) who are dealing with loss and just growing up in a small Victorian country town. You will fall in love with these boys.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loveozya, cbca2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of those books that when you pick it up you cant put it down. This book was such a wonderful book to read and can be read by quite a wide audience. I loved this book!
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great, easy read story about farm life and grief. It is funny, sad and very enjoyable. It is told from the perspective of two brothers, Sandy and Josh.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A nicely written Australian story about the reality of life in the bush and the city of Australia.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant YA novel! I loved every page of this coming of age story about two brother living on a farm in rural Victoria.
Samantha & Luke
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Growing up in the mallee I could definitely relate to this book! Thanks for writing about the mallee! 😍
Really strong narrative. Great characters. Authentic depiction of landscape.
Kerryn Lawson
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! A stunning story that had my heart in pieces over and over and over. Loved it.
Leonie Stephenson
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
More like 4 1/2 stars
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
St Stephen's C C
Sandy Douglas knows that life at fifteen is hard, but it's even harder when your mother died a year ago and nothing's gone right since. His brother Red, on the other hand, is eighteen now and working the farm. He's amped up on rage and always looking for a fight. And then there's their dad Tom. He does his best, but - really he doesn't have a clue.
As Sandy and Red deal with girls, dirt biking, footy and friendship, both boys have to work out who they want to be, without their mum around. T
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Charlie Archbold was born in London. She completed a degree in drama before training as a teacher and has worked as an educator for twenty-five years. She recently completed a Master of Education in Studies of Asia. After travelling extensively she settled in Australia and lives with her family in Adelaide. 'Mallee Boys' is her first novel
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »