HONG KONG-BASED Canadian author Karmel Schreyer has just released her second novel for young adults. A Singing Bird Will Come: Naomi In Hong Kong is a sequel to her debut novel, Naomi: The Strawberry Blonde Of Pippu Town, but what makes it even more special is that it is set in Hong Kong. Schreyer's debut novel, published in 1999, told the tale of 12-year-old Naomi who leaves her friends and family in Canada to move to Japan with her recently divorced mother. The move is tough for Naomi, but she succeeds in overcoming language barriers and learns to accept the new culture. Three years on and Naomi is 15 and on the move again. This time her mother has got a job at the Canadian School in Hong Kong. Naomi must come to terms with her feeling of rootlessness - which is eased by an old man, Mr Chen, who teaches her tai chi. She also has to come to terms with her feelings when her mother becomes romantically involved with their next door neighbour - and then marries him. The story takes Naomi all over Hong Kong and across the border to Shenzhen. This is one of the very few teen novels set in Hong Kong - it falls into the slim category along with Martin Booth's Music On The Bamboo Radio - and local readers will enjoy recognising familiar places and festivals. Schreyer does deal with teen issues, but they aren't the standard issues dealt with in popular teen fiction, such as dating and shopping. This book deals with more serious issues, such as teen pregnancy, divorce, inter-cultural relations and peer pressure. 'There is a fashion for teen fiction to be frivolous. I am rebelling against that - there are teenagers who want to consider more serious issues and there are those for whom books are a retreat for kids looking for some comfort,' Schreyer says. She offers more than just a tale about a teenager. Her books offer insights into other cultures and basic philosophical approaches to life. She is aware of the lessons she learned growing up, and wants to share those insights. 'I want teenagers to get the message that they are not just twisting in the wind, they can affect their own direction. And even more so as they get older,' she says. It is no surprise that Schreyer's novels revolve around a teenager who is regularly being uprooted. This was Schreyer's experience growing up. Her father's job meant that the family often had to move countries, so she is familiar with the feelings of anger and isolation that Naomi feels on being in a new and unfamiliar place. But these early experiences did not put Schreyer off travelling. Quite the opposite. She has lived in France, Italy, Australia and Japan and has visited more than 70 countries. Schreyer already has plans for a third book. Next time it looks as though Naomi will be heading off to Indonesia with her Mum and her new stepdad. Post 9/11, Schreyer says there is a lot Naomi can learn about a country which has the world's largest Muslim community. 'A Singing Bird Will Come: Naomi In Hong Kong' will be launched at Dymocks bookshop in the IFC Centre tomorrow at 2.30pm. Karmel Schreyer will be there to sign books.