Allen & Unwin

June 2003

$17.99 AU

236p pb

ISBN: 978-1865089287


US edition

Laurel Leaf Books
Random House

August 2006

$5.99 US

240p pb

ISBN: 978-0553494341

fp May 2004

One Night

Margaret Wild

from the book...

This book shows what can happen after ‘one night’.

Gabe is a young man, who enjoys parties and has had an endless string of girlfriends. He lives with his father, step-mum, Sara and brother, Luke. In the words of Sara he is “in danger of becoming a beautiful but heartless man”.  Helen is a young woman who sees herself as ugly and when the stunning looking Gabe takes an interest in her at a party (another conquest?) she falls for him. But after their one night stand he doesn’t call and won’t return her messages. On top of all that she finds herself pregnant! Soon Helen is out of her home and living in a boarding home working as a dish washer to make ends meet. When Raphael is born things certainly change for Helen and in a time of desperation she takes Raphael to Gabe’s home leaving him with a note for the weekend…

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


Having read and enjoyed the verse novel Jinx I was pleased when I received One Night another verse novel by Margaret Wild. This time the issue covered is teen pregnancy. There are two main characters: Gabe and Helen along with Bram and Al. The book is divided into three sections – Gabe, Helen, and Gabe and Helen and focus on the mentioned character/s. The book shows what can happen after ‘one night’

Gabe is a young man, who enjoys parties and has had an endless string of girlfriends. He lives with his father, step-mum, Sara and brother, Luke. In the words of Sara he is “in danger of becoming a beautiful but heartless man”.  Helen is a young woman who sees herself as ugly and when the stunning looking Gabe takes an interest in her at a party (another conquest?) she falls for him. But after their one night stand he doesn’t call and won’t return her messages. On top of all that she finds herself pregnant! Soon Helen is out of her home and living in a boarding home working as a dish washer to make ends meet. When Raphael is born things certainly change for Helen and in a time of desperation she takes Raphael to Gabe’s home leaving him with a note for the weekend…

I loved the characters in One Night and the way the story was structured. The characters each had their own demons and issues to sort out…but with the warmth of Wild’s words were able to get through the tough times. One Night is certainly not a pessimistic teen issues story; rather it is one of rich characters and a happy resolution for all characters. This book adds another strong title to the growing number of verse novels. Highly recommended for Year 9 and 10 students.

Stephen, Canberra, Australia


‘The parties were Bram’s idea – calculated, sophisticated, daring. For a long time they were the best-kept secret in the city. They ended one night when Al nearly killed Raphael.’

One Night by Margaret Wild is a verse novel, which concentrates on teen issues and general issues that are a major problem in present society.

Gabe, Bram and Al are best friends, organising parties around the city together, holding them in secret, leaving no traces behind. Gabe ‘collects the girls’, Bram organises the house, and Al… just goes along for the ride. Gabe is a gorgeous young man, who can’t keep hold or track of his relationships. He lives with his father, stepmother Sara and his very strange half-brother Luke on the south side of town, and attends the local public high school. Helen is a girl who considers herself to be ugly on the outside, even though her rich parents paid for plastic surgery. She and her best friend Barb attend one of Gabe, Bram and Al’s parties, and she and Gabe meet for the first time. As they dance, she sees Gabe’s emptiness and tries to fill it up.

After the party, Helen’s life changes forever – she becomes mother to Gabe’s son. She takes him to Gabe’s house, expecting he’ll be safe. But it all goes wrong that one night…

This amazing novel covers issues such as teen pregnancy and drug abuse – very good topics to touch on for intended readers. The characters are very strong, and it is easy to become emotionally attached to them, especially to Gabe and Helen, the two main characters.

One Night is an excellent book – I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it! I’d never read a verse novel before this one, and I’m glad it was my first. I recommend it to anyone 13 years and over, although mainly to those aged 15 to 19.

Reem, age 15, Canberra, Australia


The book One Night is based on the very different lives of Gabe and Helen. Gabe, who is a very attractive young man, has a lot of one night stands with girls that he meets at parties. He lives in the suburbs with his father, step-mother Sarah and strange younger brother, Luke.

Helen is a content girl in the belief that she resembles somewhat a pig although she has had plastic surgery that her wealthy parents had paid for. She lives with her mother, her father; a dull, predictable, controlling man, and younger sister Celeste in a well-established uptown neighbourhood.

Helen and Gabe meet one night at one of the infamous parties thrown by Gabe and his two friends Bram and Al who both have a personality of their own. This night proves to be more than what they bargained for when Helen finds out that she has fallen pregnant to Gabe.

This book deals with some of the tough issues faced by a lot of teenagers, in particular unexpected pregnancies and the book raises awareness to those reading the novel. It is relevant in today’s society and sympathises with the trouble of becoming a young mother or father. It is an emotional story that easily draws in the reader to the difficult and troublesome lives of Helen and Gabe. The book is an easy read but very captivating and expresses a lot in just a few words. Overall I really enjoyed the book and pretty much finished reading it in one night.  I recommend this book to anyone 14 and above, as it would be easier for them to relate to the kind of situations faced throughout the book.

Kim, Year 10, Canberra, Australia


I read the book One Night and I liked it a lot! It’s good because it shows what happens in some teenagers lives.

Helen, age 16, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

One Night is a young adult verse novel, which focuses on and around the issue of teen pregnancy, and how it affects the lives of not only the parents but all the people around them.  This book captures your attention and doesn’t let go, because you want to find out what happens next.  Will Gabe accept that he is now a father?  Will Helen keep Raphael?  Will Raphael ever know his father?  All up, what will happen?

The author describes the life of both Gabe and Helen, before and after the party where they met. After Helen finds out that she is pregnant her life falls to ruins.  She ends up having to move out of home because her parents wouldn’t/couldn’t accept the fact that their little girl was pregnant.  She also drops out of school and during the time before the birth she finds herself a job and a place to stay.  She makes new friends and is beginning to get some order back into her life.  Something happens and Helen needs to leave Raphael with Gabe for a few days.  She leaves Raphael on the front door step with a note explaining everything.  If you want to find out what happens next read the book.

I really liked this book because it is fairly realistic the way that people reacted to the pregnancy, and the way Helen handled it.  Another thing that I liked about it is if you didn’t know what sort of reaction you may get in that situation it explains it a little.  I also liked the way the author described things because you can picture most of the scenes that are visited in the book.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes realistic stories.  It is a good read and won’t take very long to read through.  It is a great novel for teenagers 14+, and people in Year 9 to 10.

Sheradyn, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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