Aussie Book Review & Giveaway: Three Novelettes- a Westside Special Edition

Behind the scenes: Westside Publications has published Three Novelettes, a series of 5000 word mini-novels written by three girls all under the age of 12.

Three Novelettes delves into the lives of South-Western Sydney residents Dorothy Kamal, Isabella Whitcher and Khadija Mossavi, who each uniquely describe their lives and relationships in one of Australia’s most linguistically and culturally diverse regions.

Each novelette celebrates the importance of families to these young people.

Westside Publications Editor Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Sub-Editor Felicity Castagna facilitated writing workshops with the girls over a series of months to develop a body of work that delves into a world adult’s would never get a glimpse into.

The project by Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS) started when Dorothy, 12, won the Outstanding Jr. Award of a local writing competition with her story about vampires – even though she was two years under the age limit to enter. Her stories are bound by the title: ‘Us = Family’ and articulate a life lived in Bankstown’s Christian Lebanese community.

Isabella’s novelette is bound by the title ‘Living with Peter Pan’ and is primarily about her family’s experiences with her profoundly autistic brother, Joshua. In her novelette, Isabella describes the dynamic way her family operates in order to deal with Joshua’s disorder.

BYDS found Khadija, 10, through the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and Old Guilford Public School. Her novelette, ‘Home’, explores her time in Pakistan and Sydney as a refugee. Her stories reveal the way culture and religion shape her lifestyle.

This unique novelette is available online as an e-reader at

  Three Novelettes by Dorothy Kamal, Isabella Whitcher and Khadija Mossavi

 Format- paperback

  Source- review copy from publisher

Publisher- Westside Publications

Publication date- Feb, 2012

Blurb: Dorothy Kamal was chased by a burning rat.

Isabella Whitcher’s all-white kitchen is covered by drawings of Disney and the BBC.

Khadija Mossavi’s family has a habit of eating their pet chickens.

Review: When I was approached by BYDS to review their latest publication,  Three Novelettes I didn’t have to think twice about accepting. Three girls aged 12 and under, living in south-west sydney who have had their stories published… how could I resist? I grew up and still reside and work in south-west sydney- one of the most multicultural and linguistically diverse regions in the country. BYDS have given an opportunity to three young girls that will stay with them for life. To have someone believe in their talent and to help them improve their writing skills and to have a local community support them in seeing their words in print- that’s priceless for these girls.

Three Novelettes is made up of three mini novels by Dorothy Kamal, Isabella Whitcher and Khadija Mossavi, who uniquely describe their lives, relationships and families. I found the little snippets quite amusing and read out a couple of passages to my partner. We had a laugh about Khadija’s story about the chickens. Dorothy has a unique, witty, adolescent voice which brings an interesting perspective on stories involving her family and extended family. Isabella shares antics that involve her little brother Josh who has Autism.

I’ve decided not to give this book a numerical rating because i feel it is uneccessary for this piece of work which is in essence excerpts of memoir from young voices in the local community.


I have two paperback copies of Three Novelettes up for grabs for 2 lucky followers in Australia.  To enter, simply leave a comment at the end of this post with your email address. Entries open until 20th March, 2012 and the winner will be drawn via


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