Fifteen-year-old Ricky lives in Aspiring, a town that’s growing at an alarming rate.

Ricky’s growing, too — 6’7”, and taller every day.

But he’s stuck in a loop: student, uncommitted basketballer, and puzzled son, burdened by his family’s sadness.

And who’s the weird guy in town with a chauffeur and half a Cadillac? What about the bits of story that invade his head?

Uncertain what’s real — and who he is — Ricky can’t stop sifting for clues. He has no idea how things will end up . . .

With sunlight, verve and humour, award-winning New Zealand writer Damien Wilkins brings us a beguiling boy who’s trying to make sense of it all.

$22.00 incl. GST

2 in stock (can be backordered)

Payments: Secure credit or debit card payment via Stripe, or make an online bank transfer. Shipping: $5.20 to $15.60 per order based on largest book size. Rural delivery $6 extra. Tracked courier delivery usually 1-2 days.  Returns and exchanges: See FAQs. 


The first YA novel by Damien Wilkins, one of New Zealand’s most gifted writers. Excellent classroom/teaching potential. Teacher notes available. Funny, relatable and endearing, this novel deals superbly with grief, adolescence, young love with a unique and fresh narrative. Set in the New Zealand of our times.

Winner of the young adult fiction award at the New Zealand Book Awards For Children And Young Adults 2020.

Download the teacher notes.

Read some sample pages from Aspiring.


New Zealand Herald ~ “Described as a “hymn to the internal lives of boys today”, Aspiring is a must-read for any boy who is in need of such an anthem.”

Dave Tucker, The Sapling ~ “The story is one you want to stick with, an elaborate yarn told with honesty and hope, mixed with just enough Kiwi quirkiness to smile about in each chapter.”

Breton Dukes, Landfall ~ “Full of fun, dressed inappropriately and leaping lightly from the highest branch. Forget YA — this is a book for all of us.”


Additional information

Dimensions21 × 13.8 cm
First published



Paperback edition



Page count


Published by

Massey University Press

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