Detention Book Reviews

Detention Tristan Bancks

It’s finally arrived! After years of percolating the story idea, and then more years of writing and rewriting, before editing and printing, Detention is officially launched this week! I’ve been touring the book ahead of release and I’ve loved hearing and reading the response from readers. Here are a few of the early Detention book reviews.

Detention Book Review

Children’s Books Daily Review

Megan Daley (of Children’s Books Daily) called Detention “a raw and authentic exploration of human connection” that “captures the divided feelings surrounding immigration, but in a way that young people can process, discuss and empathise with”… “Tristan’s writing is gripping, insightful and compassionate.. [ and the] conclusion of ‘Detention’ is hopeful but realistic… It is outstanding, and I do not say this lightly.” Read more…

Thanks Megan!

Readings Review

Angela Crocombe, Manager at Readings Kids, says, “The characters are strong individuals who have agency and, most importantly, compassion for one another. This is a well-written, well-researched thriller from the author of Two Wolves and The Fall that will appeal to lovers of suspenseful stories aged 11+.” Read more…

Mark Smith, author of THE ROAD TO WINTER

Utterly believable. Felt like I was holding my breath from start to finish. Bancks champions the strength and decency of young people caught up in a harsh world not of their making.

Asher Talks Books Detention book review

Asher Talks Books review (Kid book reviewer)

Asher has a very cool book review podcast that you should check out. He reviews everything from graphic novel Maus to Wundersmith and The Dog Runner. Here, he and his dad co-review Detention in a tight eight-minute conversation.

Written By Sime Review (Bookseller at Potts Point Books)

Simon McDonald described Detention as a “thrilling, heartfelt page-turner enriched by probing social commentary”. He noted that the book doesn’t “talk down to the reader”, showing instead that “young people have the courage to rise up and demand equality for all”. He says, “Its breakneck pace means it’s almost impossible to put down.” Cheers, Simon!  Read More…

Losang Zopa Review (Teacher-librarian, Sue Warren)

Sue said, “Once again Tristan has crafted a sensational narrative with high-impact tension and thought-provoking themes which will keep readers eagerly turning pages.” She also suggests that Detention “will make a great read-aloud for middle year students.” Thanks, Sue.

Clare Atkins, author of BETWEEN US

Tense and taut, Detention will have you on the run, minute by minute, with Sima and Dan, making you ask: What would I do if this were me?

Lamont Books Review

The fine humans at Lamont Books chose Detention as their book of the month for Secondary Fiction, adding that it “is a fantastic, real and topical story” and “a wonderful discussion starter for readers aged 10 – 14.” Thanks, Rob.

Little Big Reads

Little Big Reads Review

Alison, the wonderful librarian behind the Little Big Reads blog, said of Detention that it “was a privilege to read. It was confronting, powerful, emotion-filled and an important story to tell.” Thanks, Alison. Read More…

Booktopia Review (by Bronwyn Eley)

And, finally, Bronwyn from Booktopia wrote, “This is a little book that packs a big punch! … I ignored my phone when it buzzed, I didn’t look up from the page when someone came in to ask me a question”. You can listen to Bronwyn’s podcast interview with me here and read her full review here.

Superb . . . Books for this age group are rarely the focus of reviews on this blog, but I believe that this is such an essential read as part of any study about migration and refugees, it deserves all the publicity it can get.” Read more…

Helen Eddy, ReadPlus

It is a thought-provoking story, really well written, with a satisfying and realistic conclusion.” Read more…

Vicki Thornton, Magpies

A sensitively written story that shows the humanity behind topics such as human rights and freedom.

Momo celebrating time to read

I hardly know where to begin with this utterly splendid book…I felt bereft once it ended…because the glorious experience of reading such a beautifully told and finely nuanced story was over. The tension in this book is so palpable. The plot just races along and the individual voices of both characters demand to be heard. For me this is certainly a five star book.’ Read more…

And now it’s your turn. You’ve read the early Detention book reviews and I’d love to read your review. The first three chapters are free and you can buy it in Australian bookstores big and small right now or link to online booksellers here.


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