It’s midnight and I’m alone in the kitchen eating a cold potato scallop. Coach O'Call would say something like, ‘That’s not what I expect from a scholarship girl!’ because I have to be up for squad training in five hours and I’m not supposed to go near potato scallops, and—oh, yeah—it’s my fifth.
Cat has recently started at a new school on a sports scholarship, and she’s feeling the pressure of early morning training sessions and the need for total commitment. Fanny loves to swim and she lives for racing, but family chores and low expectations for girls make it very hard for her to fit in even the occasional training session.
Cat and Fanny have never met. They both live in the same Sydney suburb, but in different worlds, or at least different times: Cat in current-day Sydney, and Fanny in 1908. But one day, time slips and they swap places.
As each girl lives the other’s life, with all the challenges and confusion it presents, she comes to appreciate and understand herself and the role of swimming in her own life.
Narrated in alternating chapters by Cat and Fanny, Elsewhere Girls is a moving and funny story of two girls with a deep connection, one based on the Australian Olympic champion, Fanny Durack. It’s a fresh and engaging exploration of the challenges and pressures for young women growing up in the past and today.
‘An intriguing time-slip novel by two wonderful writers.’
‘Two fabulous characters working out what matters most—I love Cat and Fan so much!’
‘Elsewhere Girls is full of Gale and Weetman’s incisive charm and wit, and the pair’s existing middle-grade fans will happily devour this intimate, perceptive look at equality, class, women’s rights and what matters most.’
‘Gale and Weetman intertwine their unique voices to weave this heartfelt insightful and humorous tale. I loved it.’
‘Elsewhere Girls is an extremely well written book in that it feels completely realistic…Delves into themes of family, friendship, academic pressure, feminism, racism, misogyny, and injustice while interweaving historic facts and places with pure fiction. This is a must read for swimming enthusiasts, history buffs, and time-slip fans aged 10+.’
‘The friendship difficulties, rivalries and the business of physically and emotionally growing into womanhood, though presenting different challenges to the two girls who are living lives that are two centuries apart, still have a universal resonance and this is what attracts our young female readers to books like Elsewhere Girls and authors like Weetman and Gale.’
‘Everything I hoped for and more…completely addictive, brilliant writing.’
‘Elsewhere Girls is one of those books that is, quite simply, a joy to read. It is perfectly paced, taking it’s time to explore each character and their hopes, dreams and disappointments while remaining utterly engaging.’
‘This book is amazing. I would recommend it to anyone who likes stories about what it feels like to be someone else.’
‘Nothing short of superb. These two exceptionally talented authors do a wonderful job painting the girls’ worlds with smooth writing that nails the situations each girl faces in her time brilliantly…[A] sweet, totally enjoyable and heart-warming story.’
‘A charming, eye-opening exploration of gender restrictions and self-determination.’
‘Cheerful…deftly examines the evolution of traditionally feminine gender roles.’