The Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor has been announced as the 2023 Historical Novel Society Australasia prize winner in the YA category. Find out more about the prize and shortlisted titles HERE.
Twelve-year-old Billy Pyke has a talent for sorting things out. Whether it’s his chaotic family home or the busy book stall at Paddy’s Market. In 1871, the market is the loud, smelly, marvellous heart of Melbourne. Billy is delighted to work at the book stall there for the eccentric Mr Cole. When his new friend Kezia warns him of a sinister magician called the Obscurosmith, Billy can’t believe her stories of magical deals gone horribly wrong. Until he sees them happening. The night that the Obscurosmith crosses a terrifying and dangerous line, Billy realises something. If he wants the Obscurosmith stopped, he’ll have to do it himself.
In this episode Gregory Dobbs chats to Amelia Mellor about her fascination for 19th century history and Melbourne’s Paddy’s Market. Amelia discusses how magic and history converge at Coles Book Arcade and why digging around in the vault of history can turn up the strangest things.