30 Years of Looking for Alibrandi

It’s time to go back in time for a look at a modern classic YA book called, Looking for Alibrandi. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Good Reading for Young Adults looks at why it’s still worth reading today!


A deluxe hardback edition has been published to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a YA classic. Multi-award-winning, a bestseller and made into an award-winning feature film, Looking for Alibrandi has become a much-loved modern classic.

I’ll run one day. Run for my life. To be free and think for myself. Not as an Australian and not as an Italian and not as an in-between. I’ll run to be emancipated.

Josephine Alibrandi is 17 and in her final year at a wealthy girls’ school. This is the year she meets her father, the year she falls in love, the year she finds the real truth about her family – and the identity she has been searching for. The year she sets herself free. A modern classic beloved by so many, Looking for Alibrandi will stay with you always.

This special edition contains an exclusive preface by the author, as well as photographs, letters, reviews, articles and mementoes from the time of its first publication and reception, and extracts from the original edited MS and Melina’s correspondence with her editor and publisher.

Why is it a modern classic?

When Looking for Alibrandi was first published in 1992 it was an instant success – the print run sold out in two months, and it won the 1993 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) award for Older Readers.

The book was Melinda Marchetta’s first novel, and it went on to captivate readers across the world. It’s a relatable and moving coming-of-age story that explores all the nuances of migration, growing up, and accepting your identity. Set in Sydney in the 1990s, the novel follows Josephine Alibrandi as she navigates the last year of high school, first love, her renewed relationship with her absent father, loss, and reconciling her Australian and Italian heritage. Marchetta tackles enduring issues which continue to resonate with readers today. It’s these issues that make this book such a compelling and beloved novel.

Its 2000 film adaptation was equally well received, winning five AFI awards. Author Melinda Marchetta won the
NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Best Screenplay, the IF award for Best Screenplay, and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.

If you love a story full of honesty, passion and love, check out this ground-breaking and memorable novel. It’s cherished
for a reason!

Author: Melina Marchetta

Category: Children's, teenage & educational

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Puffin

ISBN: 9781761047206

RRP: $19.99

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