'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 1 April 2010

CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Older Readers

So exciting to see the shortlisted nominees for Book of the Year, and thrilled some of my personal picks are in!

It's fantastic to scroll through the list on the CBCA website, but it's even nicer to be able to picture the books and learn a little more about them at a glance.

I'm pleased, therefore, to list the Shortlisted nominees on Kids Book Review, starting with the Older Readers category. I hope it helps you learn a little more about each book, author and illustrator before the winners are announced late August. Other categories coming soon.


by Lucy Christopher (Chicken House)
In a moving letter to her captor, sixteen-year-old Gemma relives her kidnapping from Bangkok airport while on holiday. Taken by Ty, her troubled young stalker, to the wild and desolate Australian Outback she reflects on a landscape from which there’s no escape.

In a story of survival, passion and darkness, Gemma reveals how she had to deal with the nightmare, or die trying to fight it. Sensitive, powerful and beautifully written.

The Winds of Heaven
by Judith Clarke (Allen and Unwin)

When Fan was little she dreamed of magical countries in the far away blue hills. As she grew up she dreamed of love, and the boys came after her one by one by one.

Clementine thought her cousin Fan's house in the country had a special smell: of sun and dust and kerosene and the wild honey they ate for breakfast on their toast. But then there were the feelings: the anger that smelled like iron and the disappointment that smelled like mud. Fan was strong and beautiful and Clementine thought she'd always be like that. But Fan was seeking something, and neither she nor Clementine knew exactly what...

With sharp poetic prose, insight and compassion, Judith Clarke tells a moving and beautiful story as she traces the lives of two young women, separated by circumstance, but linked forever by blood and friendship.

by Justine Larbalestier (Allen and Unwin)

Secrets, lies, murder and betrayal.Micah Wilkins is a liar. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing.

Was Micah dating Zach? Did they kiss? Did she see him the night he died? And is she really hiding a family secret? Where does the actual truth lie?Liar is a breathtaking roller-coaster read that will have you up all night, desperately seeking for something true.

Jarvis 24

by David Metzenthen (Penguin Group Australia)

So far, Marc E. Jarvis has lost a white football boot, a school tie and a best friend.But there's more in store for him when he completes Work Experience at a local car yard – where his world is truly rocked, shocked and shaken.Then Marc meets Electra.And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

A story of true friends, crazed coaches, shooting stars, and loves lost and found.

A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

by Glenda Millard (Allen & Unwin)

Skip's an outsider, a quiet observer. He draws pictures to make sense of the world. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left, especially when he teams up with old Billy.

Then come the bombs which leave little Max in his care, and also Tia, the sad dancer, with her sweet baby, Sixpence. Scavenging for food, living on love and imagination...how long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?

Loving Richard Feynman

by Penny Tangey (University of Queensland Press)
Richard Feynman was a Nobel prize-winning physicist. Catherine is a science-loving 15-year-old. Richard helped build the atom bomb. Catherine's just trying to survive school.When your life is falling apart around you, is talking to a dead physicist normal?

Catherine thinks so, but it isn't until her life begins unravelling that she learns who she can really trust.

See the CBCA website for more information on Australia's incredible children's literary talent, as well as a list of Notable Books.

CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Early Childhood
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Eve Pownall Award
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Younger Readers
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Picture Books