michael and mina 1

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for the excellent When Michael Met Mina. 

For my non-Australian readers, here are a few things you need to know about Australian politics:

  • At time of writing, we still don’t have a new Prime Minister (because everyone hates politicians and we can’t decide which ones we hate the most)
  • The issue of asylum seekers is one of the most divisive and topical in our political landscape
  • When Michael Met Mina takes these political issues, brings in two characters from opposite ends of the spectrum, and throws them together

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When Michael Met Mina reads at the younger end of YA, but is no less compelling for it.

There are a lot of things here that need to be said. There are views on multi-culturalism, immigration, the seeking of asylum and racism. Australia has a huge problem with racism still (I mean, we were founded on racism) and it’s not often that you find a book that confronts that.

I guess the only real problem is that the people reading this book are not the ones who need its message. 

In essence I think there’s this sort of echo chamber surrounding this book – like a preaching to the converted. I’ve spent a good amount of time in the Aussie YA community and it is honestly the most empathetic, generous and thoughtful community I’ve ever been a part of. The messages are important – they’re just being sent to the people who are already getting the message.

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That said, I still think it’s an incredibly important book. 

In one of my university classes – Citizenship and Communication – we talked a lot about protesting and civil disobedience. Something that came up a great deal was this idea of cultural protest – not through waving signs or going to rallies, but creating art that tries to send a message.

The incredible things about political novels is that the stories are humanised for audiences. 

And Michael and Mina are really great characters. Michael, for instance, undergoes a HUGE amount of character development. His whole life he’s basically never questioned his family’s beliefs. But Mina forces to question himself. I admire Michael a great deal because it takes a lot of courage to question the ideals and the beliefs that you were raised with. The Aussie Values party made me INCREDIBLY angry and I think he does pretty well with his family.

Overall, a really insightful read about politics, racism and the importance of spreading love, not hate. 

We definitely need more of that.

Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!


mm tour poster

when michael met mina

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.


What do you think about these Big Issues in YA? Do you think they overwhelm the story, or that they’re a great way to spark a discussion? Or maybe both?