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

Tuesday 6 April 2010

CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Younger Readers

Huge congrats to all the shortlisted authors for the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year. You can see the shortlisted books on the CBCA website, but here's a rundown of the nominees in each category, with book cover and some book blurb. Enjoy every minute. More categories coming soon and you can see Older Readers here.

Matty Forever

by Elizabeth Fensham (Penguin)

Bill and Matty are neighbours. And best friends. Together they share their deepest, darkest secrets and lean on each other when things aren't right at home.

Bill is missing his father and having a hard time at his new school. And Matty is realising that her family is not quite the same as everyone else's.

But when new girl Isabella decides she wants Bill all to herself, Bill and Matty discover what true friendship means.

An enchanting story of friendship, acceptance and trust from one of Australia's favourite storytellers.

Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool

by Odo Hirsch (Allen & Unwin)

The Bell family's ancestors were showered with honours, gifts and grants of land. In exchange, they have bestowed a Gift, once every 25 years, on the town. The Gifts have ranged from a statue to a bell tower with stained-glass windows, but now it's Darius's father's turn - and there is no money for an impressive gift. It looks as though a wheelbarrow full of vegetables is the best they can do.

Darius is determined to preserve the family honour, and when an earthquake reveals a glorious cave, with the most beautiful minerals lining the walls, he thinks he's found the answer...

A wonderfully satisfying novel - fun to read, thought-provoking and wise. See my review here.

Running with the Horses

by Alison Lester (Penguin)

Ten-year-old Nina lives with her father above the palace stables at the Royal Academy of Dancing Horses. She loves watching the famous white stallions as they parade for the crowds, but her favourite horse is an ordinary mare called Zelda - an old cab horse Nina often pats on her way home from school.

When Nina's world changes dramatically, she and her father have to flee from the city. Their journey over the mountains with Zelda and the stallions seems impossible, with danger at every turn... See my review here.

The Whisperer

by Fiona Mcintosh (Angus & Robertson)

Griff is an ordinary boy, working at a circus - but he has an extraordinary ability. He can receive people's thoughts, although in an unfocussed way. When the circus master decides to exploit this talent, disaster ensues.

Griff decides to escape, taking fellow circus member Tess and her magical creatures with him. Meanwhile Griff is hearing a cry for help from Lute, the Crown Prince of the realm, under attack from his uncle Janko, who wants to rule in his stead. Escaping from Janko's clutches, Lute encounters Bitter Olof, a bandit with a long history, and Calico Grace, captain of the pirate ship Silver Wind.

With allies both magical and human, Griff and Lute must reclaim their inheritance and discover the truth behind their mysterious communication.

Pearl Verses the World

by Sally Murphy (Walker Books)

At school, Pearl feels as though she is in a group of one. Her teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme but Pearl’s poems don’t. At home, however, Pearl feels safe and loved, but her grandmother is slowly fading, and so are Mum and Pearl.

When her grandmother eventually passes away, Pearl wants life to go back to the way it was and refuses to talk at the funeral. But she finds the courage to deliver a poem for her grandmother that defies her teacher’s idea of poetry – her poem doesn’t rhyme; it comes from the heart.

Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children

by Jen Storer (Viking)

Dumped in the River Charon, hunted by an accursed river creature and betrayed by the wicked Matron Pluckrose, Tensy Farlow is in mortal danger. She has no parents. Worse still, she has no guardian angel.

When she is thrown into the Home for Mislaid Children – a gloomy orphanage where ravens attack, Watchers hover over your bed, and even the angels cannot be trusted – it seems that all hope is lost.

Yet could it be that a plucky, flame-haired orphan with a mysterious past is precisely what this dark world needs?

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 - Older Readers
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 - Picture Books