Author(s): Vikki Wakefield
Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She's a prankster and a risk-taker, and she's not afraid of anything-except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can't explain. The funny girl isn't laughing anymore. She's haunted by voices and visions-but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf. As she's drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what's real or imagined-all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price. Everything about her is changing-her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don't understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?
'Fans of intelligent, unflinching, spine-crawling thrillers...will love Ballad for a Mad Girl.' Books + Publishing 'I'm obsessed with Vikki Wakefield's words. Seriously-I'd be happy reading her grocery list.' Alpha Reader 'Vikki Wakefield...proves again that she's the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.' Ruth Starke, Australian Book Review, Books of the Year 2015 'Vikki Wakefield writes stories that will break your heart.' Readings '[Wakefield's] characters are believable flawed and memorable and there are some good life lessons for young players.' Otago Daily Times 'Wakefield's writing is unflinchingly honest...readers who let themselves sink into Wakefield's descriptions of small-town life, its constraints, and frustrations will enjoy following Jack as she searches for meaning, finding love and purpose in the unlikeliest people.' Publisher's Weekly on Friday Brown 'Everything you already love about Vikki Wakefield-plus a spine-tingling supernatural mystery. Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliantly creepy and thrilling.' -- Fiona Wood 'There's a dark side to being the funny one in the group. This is a piercing, creepy tale about a wild girl who could lose herself to a ghost. Vikki Wakefield's writing never fails to give me chills.' -- Emily Gale 'Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliant, edgy and unsettling. Grace is a tough and sympathetic anti-heroine. I felt her grief and, even when I cursed her curiosity, was compelled to follow her to the story's satisfying, cinematic end.' -- Simmone Howell 'Vikki Wakefield is one of Australia's best YA writers. I couldn't put down Ballad for a Mad Girl.' -- Cath Crowley
Vikki Wakefield's first YA novel, All I Ever Wanted, won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Literary Award for YA Fiction, as did her second novel, Friday Brown, in 2014. Friday Brown was also an Honour Book at the Children's Book Council of Australia, in 2013, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister's Awards. Vikki's third novel, Inbetween Days, was Highly Commended in the 2016 Barbara Jefferis Award, was a 2016 CBCA Honour Book and was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister's Awards. Vikki lives in the Adelaide foothills with her family.