2015 Shortlist CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers
I don’t walk past the house next door. I wish the evil witch who lives in it was dead. Which makes it hard… because she was the one who came running when I screamed.
When Kat Jones is woken by an intruder looming over her bed, she’s saved by Edwina – the neighbour Kat believes betrayed her dying mother.
Her dad issues an ultimatum. Either spend nights next door, or accept another intruder in her life – Hercules, the world’s ugliest guard dog. It’s a no-brainer, even for dog-phobic Kat.
When she meets adorkable Al at the dog park, finally Kat has someone to talk to, someone who cares.
But the prowler isn’t finished with Kat. To stop him, she needs Edwina’s help . . . and what Kat learns next could mend fences – or break her fragile family apart forever.
Published by Random House Australia.
‘This is contemporary realistic Aussie teen fiction at its best. Christine Bongers’ voice is engaging, drawing the reader in with her easy style and at times lyrical first person narration… compelling coming of age drama addressing identity, belonging and truth.’ CBCA Buzz About Books, July 2014
‘This well-written teenage novel starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. As well as well-conceived complex characters, there is also angst, young love, dogs and crime. The judges were impressed with the assurance of this debut crime novel and its relentless pace.’ Judges Report, 2015 Davitt Award for Best Debut Crime Book
‘A complex, intelligent novel … minor characters are beautifully fleshed out and the dialogue sparkles with life. Recommended.’ Magpies Magazine, June 2014.
‘Intruder is a story that will be adored by those on the transition between childhood and adolescence. It has just enough suspense to keep turning the page, but not enough to terrify; its characters are diverse, realistic, memorable and recognisable and show that we all need a little bit of everyone to enrich our lives.’ Barbara Braxton, Australian Teacher Librarian Network, REVIEW: Intruder Yr 6-8.
‘Intruder by Christine Bongers was impossible to not fall in love with …suspenseful yet not scary, full of real fears and the harsh realities of family life but also moments of laughter and love that transcends all. It really is beautiful.’ Children’s Books Daily
‘I love the gritty realism that defines this author’s writing…Intruder is smart and funny, with authentic characters and poignant moments of insight and affection. Highly recommended.’ You’vegotbuckley’s.edublog, this is the best book, ever…
‘Bongers does a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life with all their foibles; her descriptions of Herc and his interaction with Kat are priceless. There’s a lot of charm in this yarn, mixing humour and tension in a believable scenario that unearths home truths and serves up a warning about the dangers of jumping to conclusions. It also contains a message on the power of family and trust to overcome even the most dire of situations. Kat and dog might not be superheroes, but they make a winning pair.’ Vampires in the Sunburnt Country.
‘Although from the title and the opening chapters, this book would appear to be a thriller, it is much more than that. It is a complex and exciting story about the relationships that people have and the secrets that they keep from one another…Big themes like death, friendship, parenting, bullying and intruders are dealt with sensitively in this compelling book. Highly recommended. ReadPlus.
‘Intruder is a satisfying read containing some crime, some romance and some drama. It’s a really nicely constructed story about family, grief and healing, and it stars an absolutely charming dog.’ Readings.com.au.
‘Intruder is a novel of grief, acceptance and bravery in the face of what scares you the most…The book exploits language to captivate young teen readers and create very effective and eerie imagery…Intruder is an intriguing read that draws you into a drama with twists and turns in every page. Five stars.’ Jessica Townson, Townsville Bulletin
‘This is a book about family, friendship and facing fear, with an unexpected twist at the end … suitable for readers from 11 upwards. The incident with the intruder, while frightening Kat, is handled sensitively with suspense rather than terror, and encourages discussion about personal safety.’ The Reading Stack