Little Legends is the only AFL-licensed Junior fiction series available right now. They’re a fun, inclusive, and rollicking footy adventure featuring the little legends themselves, Ellie, Oz, and Sanjay Little.
Co-written with Adrian Beck, the series was launched in. 202, with subsequent titles released throughout 2021.
You can grab a copy here: Little Legends by Nicole Hayes and Adrian Beck. Or, you can check out a copy at your local bookshop, supporting our local bricks and mortar booksellers.

As an added bonus, we had the privilege of having our Little Legends included in the Australia Reads special edition series — a campaign to celebrate and advocate for books and reading. The special edition was written specifically for this excellent campaign, and we hope you all get behind it.

A Shadow’s Breath (Penguin Random House 2017)

a-shadows-breath-coverA compelling story of heartbreak, courage and forgiveness from the award-winning author of The Whole of My World and One True Thing.

Things were looking up for Tessa. Her mum was finally getting back on track. Tessa had started seeing Nick. She was making new friends. She’d even begun to paint again.

Tessa and Nick are trapped in the car after a corner taken too fast. Injured, stranded in the wilderness, at the mercy of the elements, the question becomes one of survival. But Tessa isn’t sure if she wants to be found. Not after what she saw. Not after what she remembered.

What others have said:
“A Shadows Breath, yes bruised and aching but, solid and secure on a foundation of hope which is a reflection of Nicole Hayes craft. Her writing is beautiful, measured, nuanced, compelling. The characters are richly drawn. The story carefully handles painful subject matter with sensitivity. I deeply admire Nicole Hayes work, she makes me want to be a better writer. All the stars.”
Rachael Craw, author Spark Series

“This is reality fiction at its finest.” Miffy Reviews

“Just read it. Please. READ. IT. I need to talk about this book. Nicole Hayes’ best work yet.” Fleur Ferris, author Risk, Black, Wrecked.

“I feel privileged to have read this novel so early, because now I can try my damnedest to promote it to as many young adult readers as possible.
Congratulations Nicole Hayes – it’s another beautiful, true, heartfelt and heartbreaking story to add to the amazing OzYA lexicon.” Library Monitor

One True Thing (Penguin Random House 2015)
By Nicole Hayes

one-true-thing-coverWhen is a secret not a secret? When your whole life is public.

Frankie is used to being a politician’s daughter, but with her mum now running for Premier, life’s a whole lot crazier than usual. All Frankie wants is to lose herself in her music. So when her best friend, Kessie, invites a student journo to interview the band, Frankie is less than thrilled.
But Jake’s easy to talk to, and he seems to really like Frankie. That doesn’t stop her from wondering if he’s just after the ultimate scoop, especially when photos surface of Frankie’s mum having a secret rendezvous with a younger man. With her family falling apart around her, Frankie is determined to find out the truth – even if it means losing Jake.

WINNER, Children’s Peace Literature Award 2015
SHORTLISTED, Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards – Young Adult 2016
NOTABLE, Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers 2016

The Whole of My World (Penguin Random House 2013)
By Nicole Hayes

the-whole-of-my-world-coverAn unputdownable novel for anyone who’s ever loved or lost, drawn a line between then and now, or kept a secret that wouldn’t stay hidden . . .
Desperate to escape her grieving father and harbouring her own terrible secret, Shelley disappears into the intoxicating world of Aussie Rules football. Joining a motley crew of footy tragics – and, best of all, making friends with one of the star players – Shelley finds somewhere to belong. Finally she’s winning.

So why don’t her friends get it? Josh, who she’s known all her life, but who she can barely look at anymore because of the memories of that fateful day. Tara, whose cold silences Shelley can’t understand. Everyone thinks there’s something more going on between Shelley and Mick. But there isn’t – is there?

When the whole of your world is football, sometimes life gets lost between goals.
From Junior Books + Publishers:

“a subtle exploration of bereavement”

“poignant coming-of-age tale with a fresh, original angle”

“this novel is bound to have you cheering by the end”

YABBA Award shortlist 2014
Gold INKY Award longlist 2014


A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017

With Alicia Sometimes

footy_girlsTo celebrate the first-ever elite women’s competition, A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017 showcases some of the key players to look out for, and reveals how they made it to the top of the women’s game.

Players profiled include: DAISY PEARCE, EMMA KING, KATIE BRENNAN, DARCY VESCIO, MADDY COLLIER, KARA DONNELLAN, SABRINA FREDERICK- TRAUB and ERIN PHILLIPS. What age did they start playing footy? What do they love about the game? Who are their role models? What are their greatest talents as players? Find out the answers to these questions and more.

Filled with inspirational stories and fun facts, A Footy Girl’s Guide is an essential read for aspiring footy stars of the future – and all kids who love their AFL.

Out February 2017!!!

From the Outer: Footy like you’ve never heard it (Black Inc 2016)
Edited by Alicia Sometimes and Nicole Hayes

from-the-outer-cover-imageEngaging and surprising, From the Outer shows how footy can both thrill and devastate, exclude and unite, by shining a light on the diversity and splendour of the game.

A celebration of our great game, From the Outer brings together 30 personal stories about Aussie Rules from unexpected voices: those who are female, Indigenous or gay; those with a disability, a foreign accent or even – perhaps most dubious of all – literary leanings.
Some are closet fans, some are out and proud. Many are ground-breaking and revolutionary, shaking up the institution that has dominated cultural life in Melbourne, and much of Australia, for generations.

Some are actively involved in the game, such as Leila Gurruwiwi, panellist on Australia’s first all-Indigenous footy show; Angela Pippos, one of Australia’s first female sports commentators; and Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, founder of the LGBTI supporter group the Purple Bombers. Others, like Christos Tsiolkas, Sophie Cunningham, Tony Birch and Alice Pung, share their poignant, passionate experiences as spectators and supporters.

Engaging and surprising, From the Outer shows how footy can both thrill and devastate, exclude and unite, by shining a light on the diversity and splendour of the game.

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