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Shortlisted for the West Australian Young Readers' Book Awards - 2020 (Older Readers)

Shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award - 2018

Shortlisted for YABBA, KOALA & CROC AWARDS 2018

READINGS Shortlist
Best Middle Grade Fiction of 2017

Life has never been easy for Antonio, but since the war began there are German soldiers on every corner, fearsome gangsters and the fascist police everywhere, and no one ever has enough to eat. But when Antonio decides to trust a man who has literally fallen from the sky, he leaps into an adventure that will change his life and maybe even the future of Sicily…

Listen to the audio recording of CHAPTER ONE - Narrated By FELICE


It’s wonderful when an author changes direction with their style of writing and get it so totally right... it has all the makings of a classic children's book!"  - BOOK OF THE MONTH - Lamont Books

"Honest about the darkness, grief, and complexities of war, yet never too gritty or raw for young readers, The Boy and the Spy manages to hit the magical sweet spot of middle grade fiction." Danielle, Bookity Boo Blog -

"The plot is cleverly woven to ensure the tension remains high, and the levels of realism is well suited for middle and upper primary readers for whom it's written......  it's sure to be a hit amongst those who love edge of the seat drama and junior heroes."   Magpies Magazine.


"Wonderful addition to historical fiction! Suspense, courage & adventure in WW2 beautifully woven together with themes of belonging & family." Kim Yeomans , Teacher-Librarian, St. Martins of Tours Primary School

"It’s always exciting to see an author break out from expectations and succeed...

Courage, friendship and flashes of humour propel the drama to a moving conclusion. The Boy and the Spy is a thrilling page-turner for children." -- Mike Shuttleworth, Readings Hawthorn

"A heartfelt and touching story that will appeal to students (and teachers), both primary and lower secondary. The students at my school love this book, so much so that I discovered two girls who are already on their second reading!" - Marissa Caluzzi, Junior School, Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar.

"It is action packed from start to finish which makes it an exciting read, but the thing I loved most about this book is how much heart it has." - Danica, Bookseller, Beachside Books, NSW.

 "Felice Arena shows the tragedy of this war in a caring and descriptive way while keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Readers will be cheering for courageous Antonio."

'This one is for the slightly older independent readers who are looking for a bit of meat and tension in their stories, who like something that compels them to keep reading and appreciate story-crafting at a high level." Barbara Braxton, Teacher-Librarian, Dromkeen Award Winner.


From Page to Stage 

The stage adaptation of The Boy and the Spy, written by Felice and Andrew Close, premiered at the International School of Geneva in Switzerland in March 2018. 

In March 2019 St. Margaret's and Berwick Grammar staged the Australian premiere.

The Boy and the Spy is ideal for independent theatre companies and secondary schools looking to stage a production that will appeal to young and adult audiences alike. 

An extensive set-up pack, scripts, original music score, staging notes, and multi-media files are available. 





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