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SUSANNA VAN ESSEN is the author of The Tiger Project and A Trick of the Light. She is the librarian at the Tasmanian Environment Centre and convenor of the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature.

About The Tiger Project.
What begins with a school project and a museum visit to an exhibition on Australia's most famous extinct animal turns into something much more personal for Bella Brown - a search for identity. Does Bella's absent biological father have more influence on her life than her very present stepfather? Why would her bestfriend have a crush on one identical twin and not the other? And is there a right time to die?
Who would have guessed a baby thylacine in a preserving jar could prompt so many big questions …
The tiger project could end up giving Bella a whole new perspective on love, genes and mad dogs with rabies.
The Tiger Project embraces many topics - from Tasmanian tigers, extinction and genetic cloning debates, to relationships and sexuality, the notion of family, death and the meaning of life - in a warm and very funny story about one girl's search for identity.

What happens when you are your own worst enemy?
Josie wondered what she could be doing wrong in the next year, or in five years, or in twenty years. Getting off with the wrong boy? Quitting the right job? Living with too many cats and turning out like her grandmother? The possibilities were endless. Did the future Josephine have to sort out all the things that Josie was planning to mess up for the rest of her life?

What would it be like if someone - perhaps your older, wiser self - came back from the future to try and save you from the mistakes you're about to make?
Josie Green, with her corkscrew hair and a roving left eye, is hell-bent on vengeance for all the lunch hours she has spent in detention. Just when she is about to enlighten the general public as to how the deputy principal resembles a rat, the sudden appearance of a ghostly vision not only shocks her into dropping the can of yellow spray paint - it makes her practically wet herself.

Was it a trick of the light, or is Josie really being haunted by her doppelganger? And if so, what is it trying to tell her and how can she make it disappear forever?

Set against the awesome backdrop of auroras and other cosmic occurrences in the sky above Tasmania, A Trick of the Light illustrates the value of being happy with the decisions we make and the importance of knowing who we really are. It is a witty and intelligent embrace of topical issues such as bullying, relationships and sexuality - with a paranormal twist.

Praise for Susanna van Essen's first novel, The Tiger Project:
'Impressive' - The Sunday Tasmanian
'Highly recommended' - Educare News

Teachers' Notes and an interview with Susanna van Essen are available from our website: www.panmacmillan.com.au

For further information please contact Anyez Lindop on 03 9825 1127 or anyez.lindop@macmillan.com.au

The Tiger Project and A Trick of the Light, both by SUSANNA VAN ESSEN are published by PAN MACMILLAN AUSTRALIA P/B $14.95 (incl. GST) PUBLICATION DATE: 30 APRIL, 2003. For further information please contact Jane Novak on 02 9285 9115 or jane.novak@macmillan.com.au

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