Author(s): Rosanne Hawke
Everything changes for Aster the night her brother dies. Suddenly she's the only hope of the family, and instead of an early marriage to a boy from her small village in Pakistan, her parents decide to send her to the government high school in her brother's place. Aster is excited about this unexpected opportunity for a career, but, as a Christian, she is unprepared her for the difficulties of attending a Muslim school: her fellow students are far from welcoming and one of her teachers takes an instant dislike to her. One day, she is accused of intentionally making a spelling mistake to insult the holy prophet. Her teacher is incensed and accuses her of blasphemy. A violent crowd forms outside the school and Aster is taken to jail to be tried at a later date.
A young social justice lawyer takes up her case, and Aster's Australian cousin, Maryam, starts an online campaign to free Aster. But will it be enough to save her?
Rosanne Hawke lives in rural South Australia. Many of her books been shortlisted or notable in Australian awards; Taj and the Great Camel Trek won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Award for Children's Literature and The Messenger Bird won the 2013 Cornish Holyer an Gof Award for YA literature. For ten years Rosanne was an aid worker and teacher in Pakistan and the Middle East. She is a Carclew, Asialink, Varuna, and May Gibbs Fellow, and a Bard of Cornwall. In her books she explores culture, history, social issues and relationships. She also teaches Creative Writing at Tabor Adelaide. The Truth about Peacock Blue is her twenty-fourth book.