As expected, there’s a bit of surfing happening in YA fiction, thanks largely to Australian writers. If you’re into surfing you might like one or two of these. There’s also a lot of self-discovery, and a hint of danger, if you’d prefer.
- Single Fin, Aaron Topp – A New Zealand contribution. “Fin lives to party and to surf the next wave but when his best friend and mentor, Mike, dies he is left alone. Fin goes to live with Mike’s uncle, a farmer down the coast, and begins to adjust to life on the farm. But when Jack, Mike’s younger cousin, is expelled from boarding school things change. Jack comes to live on the farm and he and Fin don’t get along. When Jack discovers surfing Fin is pressured into fighting demons he thought he had shut away for good.” (Catalogue)
- Starfish Sisters, J C Burke – Four girls are at an elite surfing camp. At first they are jealously competitive, then they learn that friendship might bring out the best in all of them and make them better surfers. Australian title number one. There’s also a sequel: Ocean Pearl in which the Starfish Sisters must get back together (or can they?).
- Surf Mules, Greg Neri – Logan’s friend Fin dies in a freak, giant-surf accident, and his father’s having money troubles, so Logan hits the road with his dodgy friend Z-Boy. Road trips, surfing, illegal dealings, and, ultimately, tragedy.
- Surf School, Laurine Croasdale – Tilly and her friends are all into surfing, and Tilly’s father runs a surf school. When he’s injured in a hit and run accident, Tilly must – with the help of her friends – (hopefully) keep the school running.
- Last Wave, Paul Hayden – Matt “Owl” has just finished high school and plans to enjoy the summer surfing with his mates, which sounds idyllic, which usually means in fiction land things are going to take a turn for the worse, and “Owl will learn what it really means to lose something you love” (catalogue).
- Raw Blue, Kirsty Eagar – another Australian effort: something bad happened to Carly two years ago, and she’s dropped out of university to surf and work at a café. Then she meets Ryan, and is propelled to face what happened, and sink or swim.
- Amaryllis, Craig Crist-Evans – Jimmy loves surfing with his brother Frank, but then Frank is called up to fight in the Vietnam war. The story of both brothers, Frank’s told through his letters to Jimmy. Amaryllis is the name of a shipwreck off the coast of Florida, where the brothers live.
- In the Break, Jack Lopez – another road trip/ surfing combo. Juan heads for Mexico with his friend Jamie and his (Juan’s) sister Amber after Jamie has a violent confrontation with his father. Along the way (on said road trip) they experience romance, tragedy… and the perfect wave.
- Surf Ache, Gerry Bobsien – Ella and her family move from Melbourne to Newcastle, and Ella struggles to adjust until she’s bitten by the surfing bug that’s all over Newcastle. Ella must, I think, also choose between dancing – which she loved in Melbourne – and surfing, and between her long-distance boyfriend and Snowy.
- Still Waving, Laurene Kelly – Julie is trying to get over a family tragedy, spending time surfing in her new town, but when the summer holidays arrive she must face the prospect of returning to the family farm and facing what happened.
Want to talk surfing like a pro? There are heaps of surf slang sites on the internet, for example, Riptionary.com.