By Emily Gale
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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.
Emily Gale and Nova Weetman are friends and writers. They both live in Melbourne—at the same time—and they love swimming. Emily has been involved in the children's book industry for twenty years. Her books include Eliza Boom's Diary, Girl, Aloud, Steal My Sunshine and The Other Side of Summer and its companion novel I Am Out with Lanterns. Nova has written thirteen books for young adults and children. Her middle grade books include the much-loved novels The Secrets We Keep, The Secrets We Share and Sick Bay.