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Publisher's Summary

Optioned for a major film, Fourteen is this generation’s Holding the Man - a moving coming-of-age memoir about a young man’s search for identity and acceptance in the most unforgiving and hostile of places: high school.

This is a story about my fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which I started to discover who I was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which I had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal - not just at the hands of my peers, but by adults who were meant to protect me.

And it was a year that almost ended tragically.

I found solace in writing and my budding journalism; in a close-knit group of friends, all growing up too quickly together; and in the fierce protection of family and a mother’s unconditional love. These were moments of light and hilarity that kept me going.

As much as Fourteen is a chronicle of the enormous struggle and adversity I endured, and the shocking consequences of it all, it’s also a tale of survival.

Because I did survive.

Longlisted for the 2021 ABIA Biography Book of the Year

"Teenagers should read this book, parents should read this book. Human beings, above all, should read this book." (Rick Morton best-selling author of One Hundred Years of Dirt)

"I love this book...a beautifully written account of a young man struggling with his sexuality, overcoming shocking abuse and finding his way to pride." (Peter FitzSimons, best-selling author)

"Shannon is unflinching in recounting the horror, but he is also funny, empathetic and, above all, full of courage." (Bridie Jabour, author of The Way Things Should Be

"A slice of life as experienced quite recently in the 'lucky country'." (The Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG)

"Shannon's bitter struggle is painfully recognisable and happening in playgrounds around the world. But he not only triumphs, he relives his past using his best weapon: beautiful words." (Australian Women’s Weekly)

"A stunning memoir about heartbreak and acceptance...a unique, hilarious and bittersweet insight into the heart of a boy, the courage of survival, and the fierce love of a mother." (Frances Whiting, Courier Mail)

"Australia hasn’t changed all that much from what Shannon describes in Fourteen. Marriage equality isn’t the end; there is still such a long way to go, and books like this are an important part of that journey." (Five Stars, Good Reading)

"Intensely raw and incredibly moving." (OUTinPerth)

"A book in which many will undoubtably see themselves and take solace." (The Age)

©2020 Shannon Molloy (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Australia

Critic Reviews

"Shannon's bitter struggle is painfully recognisable and happening in playgrounds around the world. But he not only triumphs, he relives his past using his best weapon: beautiful words." (Australian Women’s Weekly)

"A stunning memoir about heartbreak and acceptance...a unique, hilarious and bittersweet insight into the heart of a boy, the courage of survival, and the fierce love of a mother." (Frances Whiting, Courier Mail

"Australia hasn’t changed all that much from what Shannon describes in Fourteen. Marriage equality isn’t the end; there is still such a long way to go, and books like this are an important part of that journey." (FIVE STARS. Good Reading

What listeners say about Fourteen

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Inspiring!

I have gotten lots of audiobooks, many of which I really enjoyed, but this one really has given me the most hope for my future. It has inspired me that things can and will get better, for everyone.

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Buy this book for any young person who may be struggling with their sexuality

A wonderful, moving, and at times traumatic story, but uplifting at the same time. Beautifully read. Strongly recommended, especially for young people struggling with their sexuality and their supporters.

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A growing up story

Loved it. Told with passion, it's a rollercoaster journey of a young teen who's very unsure of his place in life(weren't we all at that age!) An in-depth account of how to survive the teen years when you think you're gay.

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Fantastic

fantastically written fantastically narrated, I would recommend this book to everyone especially those having trouble fitting in

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Breathtakingly raw, honest and brave

I loved the way Shannon told his story.
As a straight woman, a parent, it breaks my heart to hear of the abuse Shannon suffered at the hands, feet and vicious mouths of fellow students, the active and passive neglect of teachers who ought to have been active protectors, I aches to tell him you will be ok.
I’ve ordered the hard copy for my kids aged 15 and 12 to read and to share with their friends once they have read it.
This book should be required reading by all teachers, students and parents.

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Beautiful

Beautiful is an odd word to describe the content of this book. I found listening to Shannons’s angst and struggles, reflecting back to the times and regional areas where he grew up, and the mob mindset of bullies who to this day single out and publicly and privately yet relentlessly rip at the self esteem of those who are “different” to be a heartfelt on-site to what it is to be broken, and survive. I cried in parts, and one of the most was the unexpected meeting of Shannon with a character earlier in the book to later on. The adults and peer mates who stood by him… and the courage to be himself and find happiness. Remarkable Shannon. Thank You for sharing your story. I hope many young people come across it, that it is school curriculum, and that we seek to value that which challenges us rather than respond with a mob in fear. ❤️

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Heartbreaking and heartwarming

I listened in horror at the abuse and homophobia the author experienced as a child and was left hoping that the world is a kinder place today. Thankfully for a compelling autobiography

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This book is a must

For any human being out there looking for a book that explain what it means to grow up as a gay man THIS BOOK IS A MUST !!! And for those that experienced bullying growing up this book will give your traumatised inner child many answers.

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Must read for anyone working with teenagers

Fourteen is a shocking delve into the reality of a bullied young tormented teenager. It is a vivid reminder of the importance of treating young people with respect and to actively try to build a vulture of respect from their peers. The shocking part of this book is that many of the adults involved were complicit or actively ignoring serious bullying. Anyone who works with teenagers should listen to this captivating story as a cautionary tale.

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Amazing, eye opening, relatable

The emotions in this book and the ups and downs experienced by Shannon are still present in current day Australia and this books success is a testament to that.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.