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

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Announcement: The IBBY Australia Encouragement Award Winner: Will Kostakis

The IBBY Australia Encouragement Award (The Ena Noël Award) for a young emerging writer or illustrator has been announced. And the winner is...

Will Kostakis for The Sidekicks published by Penguin Random House. Read our exciting review of The Sidekicks by Connie, here.

Meet the Sidekicks: a swimmer, a rebel and a nerd. Through the different relationship each shared with Isaac, they become more than these public personae. Each young man deals with grief and the situation that forces them together to deal with Isaac's untimely and suspect demise.

The relationships with each other and the people around them bring them to face difficult choices they need to make, the choices that free them to be the multi-dimensional people they truly are. These peripheral characters enhance but do not overwhelm the narrative.

This intricately designed narration weaves the stories of Ryan, Harley and Miles together. These characters scream silently out for help, and each finds strength or solace if in different places. Sidekicks concludes with Miles narrating an external film sequence. The boys come together around the picnic table providing a new catalyst for the future, a future where they can remember and finally forget Isaac.

The Sidekicks is Will's third novel for young adults, and American debut. His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards. As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories.

The judges noted it was a pleasure to read such a broad and diverse selection of Australia's emerging children's and YA authors and illustrators and what an honour to select such a truly deserving book.

Kids' Book Review congratulates Will Kostakis and the publishers.

For full details about this award and to view previous winners visit the website, here.