The shortlists for this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards have been announced.
Already with a few awards this year, Margo Lanagan joins other award-winning authors like Jackie French, Morris Gleitzman and Margaret Wild in a wonderful field of authors and illustrators.
A remarkable and gripping story about one refugee boy on a desperate journey from Afghanistan, and the Australian boy who befriends him.
The Ink Bridge is the compelling story of two young men: Omed, an Afghani refugee who flees the Taliban and undertakes a perilous journey to seek asylum in Australia; and Hector, an Australian boy afflicted by grief, who has given up on school and retreated into silence. Their paths meet at a candle factory where they both find work. But secrets fester behind the monotonous routine: secrets with terrible consequences.
Powerful and compelling, Omed’s and Hector’s story will grip hold of your heart and not let go.
A mesmerising selkie novel from multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed Australian author, Margo Lanagan – one of the most exciting voices in speculative fiction.
On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock – the men, the women, the children – once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?
One night, the shiny guys visit fifteen-year-old Colin Lapsley. They don’t speak, but Colin can read their thoughts. They want him to pay for the terrible thing that he has done. When the shiny guys won’t go away, Colin is admitted to ward 44. There he discovers an alien world, a powerful weapon, a gentle giant, and a girl who may be able to see what he can see.
The Shiny Guys is a dark, sometimes funny novel about how fantasy and reality can merge, especially when electricity is involved.
Hilarious and heartbreaking, Creepy & Maud charts the relationship between two social misfits, played out in the space between their windows.
Creepy is a boy who watches from the shadows keenly observing and caustically commentating on human folly.
Maud is less certain. A confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her parents and assures her isolation.
Together Creepy and Maud discover something outside their own vulnerability – each other’s.
Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run – running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.
Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started – and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.
Friday Brown is the breathtaking second novel from the author of the award-winning All I Ever Wanted. Vikki Wakefield is an astonishing talent.
Hanna is a talented pianist, and the protected second daughter of middle class Hungarian Jews. Relatively late in World War II the Budapest Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Hanna and her mother and sister are separated from her father. Her mother becomes increasingly mentally ill until she too is taken away somewhere. Her sister Erika is slowly starving to death. Hanna is quite a naïve 15-year-old but when presented with the opportunity to play piano for the camp commander, she is desperate to be chosen.
She goes each day under guard to the commander’s house and stands waiting in case the commander should want some music. Also living in the house is the commander’s son, Karl. A handsome young man who seems completely disengaged from what is happening around him. Hanna hates him as he sits drawing in the music room. But the longer Hanna goes to the house, the more she realises there are other things going on. Secret things. Karl may not be the person she thinks he is. Before she knows it she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.
It’s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ‘Aryan’- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.
Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.
The companion book for Hitler’s Daughter, Pennies For Hitler examines the life of a child during World War 2, from a different perspective.
Kieran wants to be part of the in-group at school. He wants to be on the football team. He wants to fit in. But then his cousin Bon turns up.
Bon doesn’t know anything about fitting in – he looks different, he wears the wrong clothes, and he says weird things.
Kieran just wants to ignore Bon, but soon he is forced to make a choice.
Which is more important – being popular, or doing the right thing?
In the fourth part of Felix’s story, continuing his adventures in World War Two,.
In After, he faces perhaps his greatest challenge – to find hope when he’s lost almost everything, including his parents.
As Europe goes through the final agonizing stages of the war, Felix struggles to reconcile hatred and healing.
He’s helped by a new friend, but if he should lose her as well …
Three children have been sent to live in the countryside, safe from the war in London.
When they find two boys hiding in a castle, the past and future come together to make an extraordinary adventure.
A hauntingly beautiful story from one of Australia’s most acclaimed writers for adults and children.
Award-winning author Steven Herrick’s latest book is a heart-warming tale about friendship, grief and the importance of baked goods.
In a country town, in a school just like yours, the kids in Class 6A tell their stories.
There’s Mick, school captain and sometimes trouble-maker, who wants to make the school a better place, while his younger brother Jacob just wants to fly. There’s shy and lonely Laura who hopes to finally fit in with a circle of friends, while Pete struggles to deal with his grandpa’s sudden death. Popular Selina obsesses over class comedian Cameron, while Cameron obsesses over Anzac biscuits and Pookie Aleera – whoever that is!
For new teacher Ms Arthur, it’s another world, but for Mr Korsky, the school groundskeeper, he’s seen it all before.
Flame-haired Saffron is the youngest of the five Silk sisters. Her family know that she has a talent for becoming Anne of Green Gables or Cleopatra, and that she loves reading myths and legends. But they don’t know about the firebirds that come to warn her of terrible headaches. And Saffron doesn’t know how to tell them.
In a big family, it’s easy to be overlooked. But when Saffron is sent to the city to see a specialist, she learns that her family’s love for her is deeper than she ever imagined. And that when you’re a Silk, miracles are never far from home…
Another heart-warming story in Glenda Millard’s multi-award-winning Kingdom of Silk series.
What do you do when it’s your first day of school and your mum gives you a terrible suitcase instead of a red backpack with yellow rockets and a silver zipper?
Well, first you get mad.
M A D!
Then you use your imagination to build a rocket ship and escape with all your new friends.
A leaf that flies…
A rock that hops…
These are some of the wonderful things that Simon sees on his walk with Nan.
Simon takes a walk through the bush with his Nan and along the way finds out that things are not always what they seem.
A simple story about camouflage is brought to life with the beautiful illustrations by Karen Blair
Finding the right animal wasn’t easy. It was Camille who finally gave me the idea of being a frog!
Frogboy and Camille are best friends but they are very different.
Camille speaks in numbers and Frogboy likes to dress up.
With Camille’s help he finds that dressing up as a frog is perfect for him, but when he tries to convince his friend to be a frog too, his plan goes terribly wrong.
In Eric’s house there were too many elephants – in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, even in his bedroom!
The elephants take up a lot of space, but Eric loves every one of them. So when his mum says they have to go, Eric comes up with a clever solution to a very BIG problem . . .
From the creators of The Terrible Plop comes this delightfully energetic story, full of fun and exuberance.
Audrey lives in the outback, so when she loses her first tooth, she’s worried the tooth fairy will never find her! How will she let the tooth fairy know where she lives . . . and what will the tooth fairy leave her?
This is the same feisty and resourceful Audrey that readers have grown to love in the best-selling “Audrey of the Outback” series. A fabulous introduction for younger readers to the adored children’s fiction character Audrey of the Outback. A wonderfully optimistic story that captures the determined, mischievous, and imaginative nature of children.
Peggy lives in a small house in a quiet street.
One blustery day a big gust of wind sweeps down and scoops up leaves, twigs and…Peggy!
The wind blows Peggy into the city, where she discovers strange new things, but how will she find her way back home?
Illustrated by Australia’s leading picture-book artist, this is a surprising and delicious story that will lift you off your feet and whirl you away. A coat in a strawberry patch flies off with a down-at-heel man, and together they have the night of their lives.
The Coat stood in a paddock at the end of a row of strawberries. It was buttoned up tight and stuffed full of straw and it was angry. ‘What a waste of me!’ it yelled. Then along came a man. ‘I could do with a coat like that,’ the man said. Together, swooping and swinging, they travelled to the Cafe Delitzia, and had the night of their lives
Tanglewood lives on an island far away, visited only by the wind.
One day a bird shelters from the storm among its branches and a precious bond is formed.
But Seagull belongs to the sky and, too soon, must leave.
Will she ever return?
Sophie Scott is only nine years old, but she’s going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship’s captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. She sees icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. She makes new friends, experiences the southern lights and even becomes stranded in a blizzard!
Children’s Laureate and much-loved picture-book creator Alison Lester travelled to Antarctica as an Antarctic Arts Fellow. Her alter ego, Sophie Scott, goes on the same adventure in a friendly, informative and beautifully presented book that sees the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.
When Sam Tully sees the free-spirited horse Lightning Jack, he dares to ride him. Together they muster a herd of steers into their stable, escape a grazier’s deal and fly into the air with Pegasus wings.
Then when they are ambushed by the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly, Lightning Jack leaps out of trouble and back to the wilderness.
But then Sam can’t resist a race and rides Lightning Jack against the ghost of Phar Lap at breakneck speed …Sam’s horse is a gallant horse, a midnight horse, a horse in every dream.
Anzac Day is the day when we remember and honour ANZAC traditions down the ages, from the first faltering march of wounded veterans in 1916 to the ever-increasing numbers of their descendants who march today.
Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war.
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About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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