Icebreaker by Lian Tanner

A secret lurks deep in the bowels of the mighty ship the Oyster. A secret that is the source of the dystopian world in which Petrel, better known as the Nothing Girl, dwells. Twelve-year-old Petrel was orphaned at the age of two when her parents were thrown overboard for crimes against the warring tribes that inhabit the mighty ice breaking ship. Not having the stomach to toss the toddler into the ocean with her parents, Petrel is left to fend for herself among the tribal hierarchy of the ship. Desperate for a friend, she uses her well-honed survival skills to have the ship pick up a mysterious stranger marooned on an iceberg. The boy’s arrival brings not only questions and danger aboard the Oyster, but a turning point in Petrel’s young life as she discovers that not everyone thinks nothing of the Nothing Girl.

With a strong female leading character and plot heavy text, this is the perfect novel for young readers who are ready to take on the dystopian genre without the more adult themes of its young adult counterparts.


Petrel is an outcast on the ancient ship, an icebreaker, that has been following the same course for 300 years. In that time, the ship’s crew has broken into three warring tribes. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel, who lives in the ship’s darkest corners, and trusts no one except two large gray rats – that is, until a mysterious boy is discovered on an iceberg, and brought onto the ship.