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Best Children's Novel
Subcategory of Davitt Award
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Inaugurated in 2014. Prior to this, children's books were included in the Young Adult category (sometimes given as the Young Adult/Children's category).

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon A Clue for Clara Lian Tanner , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2020 19523025 2020 single work children's fiction children's


'Clara wants to be a famous detective with her own TV show. She can read claw marks, find missing feathers and knows morse code and semaphore.

'There's just one problem. She's a small scruffy chook, and no one takes her seriously.

'But when she teams up with Olive, the daughter of the local policeman, they might just be able to solve the crimes that have been troubling the town of Little Dismal.

'A puzzling and hilarious mystery from bestselling author, Lian Tanner.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon The Girl in the Mirror Jenny Blackford , Armidale : Eagle Books , 2019 14172337 2019 single work children's fiction children's mystery fantasy

'The girls at Maddy’s new school look through her as if she is invisible, and say mean things behind her back. The only person who has tried to talk to her is Gareth, who is new too. And he’s good at maths. Talking to him would mean social death. But then strange things happen in old inner-city terrace house Maddy’s family has moved into. She hears spooky noises on the stairs and sees strange faces in the mirror – first a ghastly white face, then a girl in a weird old-fashioned dress. They’re ghosts! The house is haunted!

'The girl in the mirror – Clarissa – starts to talk to Maddy. Maddy’s bedroom was Clarissa’s room back in the 1890s, and it’s the same mirror on the wall – though Clarissa is a Young Lady, so she has to call it a Looking Glass. The spook on the stairs is Clarissa’s brother Bertie, who died of whooping cough when he was six years old. Clarissa and Maddy get on really well – but then Clarissa disappears, and Maddy has strange visions of a huge, evil thing like a giant spider looming over her.

'Maddy’s baby brother gets seriously ill with whooping cough. Even in the hospital, the doctors are helpless.

'Meanwhile, back in the 1890s, the girl in the mirror is having problems of her own. Clarissa’s mother has been in a decline since Clarissa’s poisonous Aunt Lily was widowed, and she moved into their house. Aunt Lily makes a Strengthening Tonic for Mother every week, from plants in the garden. But what if the Tonic that Aunt Lily makes for Clarissa’s mother is actually making her sicker? What if she wants to get Clarissa’s mother out of the way forever?  The two girls have to use all their intelligence and verve to fight against Aunt Lily’s plots, each in her own time, with help from Clarissa’s ghostly brother Bertie—but will they succeed?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Wakestone Hall Judith Rossell , Sydney : ABC Books , 2018 14971366 2018 children's fiction

'Stella Montgomery is in disgrace, and the Aunts have decided there is only one thing to be done. She is to be sent to Wakestone Hall, a grim and dreadful boarding school where the disobedient are tamed and the wilful are made meek.

Life at school is lonely and miserable, and when a friend disappears, Stella is determined to find her - no matter the dangers that certainly lie ahead…Soon Stella is thrown deeper into the mysteries of Wakestone… and her own past.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon The Turnkey Allison Rushby , Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2017 9435962 2017 single work children's fiction children's fantasy

Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London's Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, Flossie must ensure all the souls in the cemetery stay at rest. This is a difficult job at the best of times for a twelve-year-old ghost, but it is World War II and each night enemy bombers hammer London. Even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object, she becomes suspicious. What is he up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could result in the destruction of not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie stop him before it is too late? 

Source: Back cover.

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon Wormwood Mire Judith Rossell , Sydney : HarperCollins Australia , 2016 9700083 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'The highly anticipated sequel to 2014's runaway bestseller WITHERING-BY-SEA When Stella Montgomery returned to the Hotel Majestic cold and wet but exhilarated by adventure, the Aunts were furious. Now they are sending Stella away to the old family home at Wormwood Mire, where she must live with two strange cousins and their governess. But within the overgrown grounds of the mouldering house, dark secrets slither and skulk, and soon Stella must be brave once more if she's to find out who - or what - she really is ... From bestselling writer-illustrator Judith Rossell comes the thrilling and magical sequel to her multi-award-winning novel, WITHERING-BY-SEA. ' (Publication summary)