I write books for children and young adults. Sometimes I write short stories for grown-ups.

Danielle Binks

The Year The Maps Changed

One extraordinary year will change them all…

Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.

Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.

A middle-grade coming-of-age story about the bonds of family and the power of compassion for fans of The Bone SparrowWolf Hollow and The Thing About Jellyfish.


  • ‘A brilliant gem that will make you see the world – and your place in it – in a new way.’ —EMILY GALE
  • ‘This timely and beautiful story shows the very heart of what it is to be human and reveals the invisible lines of kindness and empathy that connect us all. It reminds us of the great risks we take for those we love as well as the small but vital acts of human kindness.’ —SALLY RIPPIN
  • ‘I can wholeheartedly say that I absolutely love everything about this book. It approaches some big issues with gentleness, tenderness and the right amount of sensitivity. Highly recommended!’ —SUZIE BULL, FARRELLS BOOKSHOP
  • ‘A beautiful, heartfelt, gorgeously written book. Debut author Danielle Binks is an incredible talent and the world is a better place for having her wonderful story in it.’ —ANGELA CROCOMBE, READINGS KIDS
  • ‘This is a story for kids (and grown-ups) with big minds, hopeful hearts, and generous dreams, and I love it with the fire of a thousand suns.’ —DANIELLE CAREY, DEECAREY.COM

Community Reviews: 

  • ‘This story! It’s so rich and multilayered dealing with big issues with clarity and depth. I would love readers young and grown up to read the story of Fred, her family and community.’ —FIONA STAGER, AVID READER
  • ‘This book reminds us of that seminal moment in our nation’s history when our elected officials decided temporary protection was all we could offer. Fred is a strong and brave kid in a world where things aren’t often fair or right but finding her moral compass allows her to navigate this tricky terrain. I loved her and I cried a lot.’ —JACLYN CRUPI, HILL OF CONTENT BOOKSHOP 
  • ‘Written with a light but confident touch, Binks draws on events and places from her childhood to infuse this coming of age story with an authenticity that is hard to deny … There are sad times, confusing times, happy times and most of all, a big dose of hope contained in these pages. I hope this is a huge hit for Binks because I for one can’t wait to read more of her work. Suitable for ages 9 and up.’ —SUE OSBOURNE, LIBRARIAN 
  • ‘Binks explores big, timely topics as well as universal themes of friendship and loss in the most sensitive of ways. Brimming with small acts of kindness and with a cast of beautifully diverse and nuanced characters, The Year the Maps Changed is essential reading for middle-grade and adult readers alike.’ JACQUI DAVIES, BOOKS+PUBLISHING
  • ‘Reading this story, you can’t refute the idea that the answer is always kindness; always to learn, and to try to understand. This novel narrows in on the importance of empathy, family and community, and of following your moral compass. For those who loved Wonder by RJ Palacio, Bird by Crystal Chan, and The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.’ CELESTESLIBRARY 

Join the conversation via Australia Reads and #AustraliaReadsAtHome!

Coming April 28th, 2020 with Hachette Australia 

now available for pre-order