“A wonderfully written and considered story by a very talented author who knows youth well and respects his story craft and his characters with true expressions … “

“A beautiful book … “

Karen, Indiebook Reviewer

Judges’ Comments from Western Australian Premier’s Prize for Writing for Children 2021

This insightful, thought-provoking story is remarkable for the authenticity of its characters and the empathy of its insights into the complex emotions that an intelligent but trou8bled eleven-year-old can experience in her relationships with peers and adults. Through the clever use of photography as a narrative device, it traces convincingly the stages of this pubescent girl’s growth towards fuller maturity.


Review by Dannielle Viera

Haunted by a car accident that killed her father four years earlier, Maddy is determined to capture every important part of her life through the lens of her Instamatic camera. But photos are static, and life is not. Changes wrought by puberty, her mother’s new partner, friendship dramas, and a boy she likes are beginning to take their toll. Can Maddy ride the churning tide of emotions and arrive at a calm harbour of belonging and contentment?

Ideal for kids aged ten and older, One Thousand Snapshots is a charming ode to growing up in Western Australia. Steve Heron replicates the regional language beautifully (for example, with the use of ‘dardy’ to mean ‘cool’), and there are nods to local Indigenous words as well (djidi djidi, the Noongar name for the willie wagtail). Repeated references to AFL football also add a sporty WA flavour.

The first-person narrative invites tweens into Maddy’s moiling mind, revealing the depth of her fears and the strength of her desires. This builds an understanding of and empathy for the struggling protagonist, and ensures that the reader quickly becomes invested in seeing Maddy succeed in all areas of her life.

Thought-provoking and poignant, One Thousand Snapshots is a wonderfully Australian take on growing up. Its underlying message of hope will buoy young readers who, like Maddy, are dealing with the turbulence of difficult transitions.

Review by Will Braid

My 11 year old daughter is currently reading One Thousand Snapshots.
She is engrossed in it.
As an avid reader she is looking for books that stretch her and have a story that is worth following. She sometimes gets halfway through books and bails out because the story is not engrossing.
This is not the case with Steve’s book.

Steve is a genuinely good fella too. The concept of buying the author as well as the book is one I subscribe to and look forward to whatever projects Steve is working on next.

Review by Sarah Cole

One Thousand Snapshots follows eleven year old Maddy who’s father has died in a car accident. Since then she has created a ‘like wall’ (literally on her bedroom wall) where she pins photos of stuff she likes.

Throughout the story we see Maddy deal with friendship issues, accepting her mother’s new boyfriend, bullying and the guilt and grief she faces over losing her father.

Maddy is a really likable character who is fun, friendly and strong. She plays footy and is really down to earth and mature, confiding in her mother as she deals with her life.

Well done Steve Heron on this fabulous book! Such a fantastic story with well developed characters.

Highly recommended this one!


If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a thousand pictures are worth a million words.

So begins One Thousand Snapshots, a heartwarming story of a young girl navigating grief and loss in a world of confounding emotions. Convinced she had some part to play in the death of her father a few years earlier, eleven-year-old Maddy sets out to take one thousand photos of moments in time, wishing she could share them with the people she loves. Along the way, she encounters a djidi, a willie wagtail that instils hope, changing the course of her journey.

A quote and sketch of a photo set the tone for each chapter, with text messages woven throughout. Seen through Maddy’s eyes, the action and characters will ring true to young readers, though at times, her inner dialogue veers to telling (Maybe I’m worrying too much. I haven’t been my bubbly self lately) not showing.

An uplifting middle grade story with a laudable goal: to empower children to navigate life’s challenges, grief, and loss to name just a few issues, while safeguarding their emotional wellbeing.

Did you know the collective noun for willie wagtails is an impertinence? I love that.

For ages 8+ years.

Reviewed by Maura Pierlot