CELEBRATE TEEN FICTION: Indigo Owl publication day

Indigo Owl, Charlie Archbold

Today we are celebrating the publication of new teen novel Indigo Owl, the long-awaited second book from Charlie Archbold. Charlie’s debut Mallee Boys was awarded Honour Book in the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards 2018.

Indigo Owl is smart, thoughtful YA fiction for modern teens. Equal parts thrilling entertainment and thought-provoking social commentary, Indigo Owl discusses the ‘what ifs’ around the future of the human race.

Post written by Poppy Nwosu

As a young adult fiction (YA) author myself, it is always very exciting to see a new teen fiction book published here at Wakefield Press. Today I am particularly excited to welcome Charlie Archbold’s wonderful Indigo Owl into the world!

I highly recommend Indigo Owl to anyone who likes their adventure thought-provoking as well as entertaining.

Indigo Owl, Charlie Archbold

To celebrate publication day, I had a chat with author Charlie Archbold about the leap from writing her first book to her second book for teens. Charlie’s debut Mallee Boys is a realist contemporary novel, which focuses on themes of masculinity, loss and family in regional Australia, while Indigo Owl has a very different setting … space!

Charlie said she was interested in ‘opening a dialogue around some of the complex questions we face in the twenty-first century, particularly associated with our efforts to mitigate climate change.’

In Indigo Owl, Charlie tackles the challenging issue of population growth – exploring both the potential ramifications of an overburdened earth that can no longer sustain humans, and the ethical quandary of population control through forced fertility management.


While I was reading the book, a particular quote really stood out for me. It’s about halfway through the book, when a Galbraith Executive sheds light on the philosophy behind his ruling class’s approach:

‘Galbraith introduced the sterilisation vaccine to centrally control population. The ethics of this cannot be disputed. We cannot allow a population explosion like the one which ravaged Earth.’

Charlie said she was drawn to this complex topic because, ‘Around the world population clocks are counting upwards. Second by second, hour by hour, day by day, deaths and births are recorded. Global population growth is inevitable and a major contributor to climate change. Yet the ethics around population control are very complicated.’

Charlie wonders: ‘Should states and governments have input into people’s rights to have children? Should fertility choices be monitored and regulated? Who decides? What right do others have to make these deeply personal choices for us?’

Despite its complex themes, I should definitely point out that Indigo Owl is a very entertaining and thrilling read too, perfect for teens (and adults!) who loved Illuminae or the Divergent series!

Indigo Owl by Charlie Archbold

After Earth was destroyed by climate change and overpopulation, private corporations colonised new planets. On one such planet, Galbraith, the fertility of its citizens is tightly controlled. But at what cost?

When Scarlet Bergen leaves her childhood home to be trained at the Arcadia Institute, harnessing her psychic Solitaire talents, it feels like the beginning of her future. But on the Institute steps, her father whispers a life-changing secret about the past. Her mother, a geneticist who disappeared when Scarlet was ten, had enemies …

Scarlet vows to discover the truth about her mother – and is joined in her mission by fellow cadets with their own family secrets and special talents: tech-savvy Rumi, a tenacious truth-hunter, and Dylan, the aloof classmate who can literally read her mind.

Together, they’ll uncover a planet-wide conspiracy … and discover that there’s little the Galbraith Executives won’t do to get what they want.

Indigo Owl is a fast-paced dystopian adventure from author Charlie Archbold, winner of a 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book for Older Readers.

Purchase Indigo Owl via our website, or by giving Wakefield Press a call on (08) 8352 4455.

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