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Winners

2018 winner y separately published work icon The Bone Sparrow Zana Fraillon , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2016 9459824 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'Subhi's imagination is as big as the ocean and wise as the sky, but his world is much smaller: he's spent his whole life in an immigration detention centre. The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.

'Sometimes, at night, the dirt outside turns into a beautiful ocean. As red as the sun and as deep as the sky. I lie in my bed, Queeny's feet pushing up against my cheek, and listen to the waves lapping at the tent.

'Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.

'The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, and brings a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family's love songs and tragedies.

'Subhi and Jimmie might both find a way to freedom, as their tales unfold. But not until each of them has been braver than ever before.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon The Incredible Here and Now Felicity Castagna , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2013 6177924 2013 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'Michael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman. Suitable for young readers from 14 years of age.' (Publisher's blurb)

2014 winner y separately published work icon The Golden Day Ursula Dubosarsky , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1770097 2011 single work novel young adult mystery (taught in 6 units)

'"There were only eleven of them, like eleven sisters all the same age in a large family. Because it was such a very small class, they had a very small classroom, which was perched at the very top of the school - up four flights of stairs, up in the high sky, like a colony of little birds nesting on a cliff. 'Today, girls,' said Miss Renshaw, 'we shall go out into the beautiful Gardens and think about death."'

'In the Gardens they meet a poet. What follows is inexplicable, shocking, a scandal. What really happened that day? Is 'the truth' as elusive as it seems? And do the little girls know more than they are letting on?' (From the publisher's website.)

2012 winner y separately published work icon A Small Free Kiss in the Dark Glenda Millard , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1554038 2009 single work novel young adult fantasy '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?' (Publisher's blurb)
2010 winner y separately published work icon The Ghost's Child Sonya Hartnett , Camberwell : Penguin , 2007 Z1402459 2007 single work novel young adult fantasy (taught in 6 units)

'Maddy yearns for her life to be mystifying, to be as magical as a fairy story. And then one day, on the beach, she meets the strangest young man she has ever seen.

'The Ghost's Child is an enchanting fable about the worth of life, and the power of love.' (Publisher's blurb)

2006 y separately published work icon The Silver Donkey : A Novel for Children Sonya Hartnett , Camberwell : Penguin , 2004 Z1153478 2004 single work children's fiction children's (taught in 1 units) In France during World War I, four French children learn about honesty, loyalty, and courage from an English army deserter who tells them a series of stories related to his small, silver donkey charm. (Source: Trove)
2004 y separately published work icon Where in the World Simon French , Little Hare Books , 2002 Z970628 2002 single work children's fiction children's

'Through a series of recollections, Where in the World tells the compelling story of Ari, an eleven-year-old boy with a gift for music.

'For such a young boy, Ari has already had to face some big issues in his life: emigrating from Germany to Australia with his mother, leaving behind his beloved grandfather, whom he and his mother have lived with since the death of Ari's father in a car accident; developing a relationship with his new stepfather, Jamie; and learning how to deal with his musical talent, the expectations it places on him, and what it will mean for his future. By remembering his early travels around Europe with his mother, and translating his memories of people and places into pieces of music, Ari grows to realise that life is composed of many kinds of journeys - figurative as well as literal - and accepting those journeys is part of finding your place in the world.

'With beautifully drawn characters, this is a gentle and moving book. ' (Publication summary)

2002 y separately published work icon Stony Heart Country David Metzenthen , Ringwood : Penguin , 1999 Z95051 1999 single work novel young adult "You see, out here in the country." Bernie Tolliver tells Aaron Knott, "things are complicated." Dangerously complicated, Aaron discovers - and that's before he's met Rose, the haunted young woman wandering the wild paddocks. Aaron's father is a city consultant brought in to sack country workers. Aaron Knott is the city kid taken along for the ride. And the ride in Rocky Rises is always rough. (LA)
2000 y separately published work icon First Day Margaret Wild , Kim Gamble (illustrator), St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1998 Z803976 1998 single work picture book children's

'An endearing picture book about six young children on their first day at school - delightfully illustrated by Kim Gamble. A story book for parents to read with young children about to begin school, or for older children to read when they are remembering their first days at school.' (Publication summary)

1998 y separately published work icon The Big Bazoohley Peter Carey , Queensland : University of Queensland Press , 1995 Z839609 1995 single work children's fiction children's

Nine-year-old Sam Kellow's family has fallen on hard times - the buyer for his mother's latest painting has disappeared, and his gambler father has no immediate prospects for making money. Therefore it falls to Sam to find the 'Big Bazoohley' - the windfall his father insists will arrive when they need it most - and he slips out of their Toronto hotel room to do just that. However, he is soon kidnapped by a strange couple who want to enter him in the Perfect Kiddo contest, in lieu of their own son who is in bed with chicken pox. The prize for the contest is a part in a commercial and $10,000, and it doesn't take Sam long to work out a way to turn this bizarre series of events into the solution for his family.

1996 y separately published work icon Rowan of Rin Emily Rodda , Norwood : Omnibus Books , 1993 Z797986 1993 single work children's fiction children's fantasy adventure (taught in 1 units)

The people of Rin have long lived in the shadow of the Mountain, hearing the dragon's roar every morning and evening. When the village's precious stream stops flowing, a frightening journey must be undertaken up the Mountain to the stream's source. To the hardy villagers of Rin, the boy Rowan is a timid weakling. Yet because only he can read the magical map, it is Rowan who must brave the unknown terrors of the Mountain to save the village and solve a witch's riddle.

1994 y separately published work icon The Bamboo Flute Garry Disher , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1992 Z459594 1992 single work children's fiction children's Paul is a dreamer with his head full of music. But in the real world he has no friends, his father is battling to keep the farm and dejected men tramp the roads. No-one has time for music or dreams. Then Eric the Red comes along and shows Paul how to make a flute from a piece of bamboo.
1992 y separately published work icon Dodger Libby Gleeson , Victoria Park : Turton and Chambers , 1990 Z462617 1990 single work children's fiction children's
1990 y separately published work icon My Place : The Story of Australia from Now to Then My Place Nadia Wheatley , Donna Rawlins , Donna Rawlins (illustrator), Blackburn : Collins Dove , 1987 Z795146 1987 single work picture book children's historical fiction (taught in 7 units)

'My Place, the classic Australian picture book, is a "time machine" which takes the reader back into the past. It depicts the history of one particular piece of land in Sydney from 1788 to 1988 through the stories of the various children who have lived there. It aims to teach the reader about the history of Australia, about families, settlers, multiculturalism, and the traditional owners of the land. Each child's story covers a decade in time, showing their particular dress, customs and family life.

'The book also features maps that the successive generations of children have 'drawn' which demonstrate the things that have changed - as well as the things that have remained constant. My Place ultimately aims to show "that everyone is part of History" and that "every place has a story as old as the earth".' -- Provided by publisher (2008 ed.)

1988 y separately published work icon Riverman Allan Baillie , Melbourne : Nelson , 1986 Z846201 1986 single work novel young adult adventure 'Tim has always been known as "Shrimp" - and in the tough town of Zeehan a small kid is no use to anyone. But a mine disaster and a perilous journey up the wild Franklin River changes that' (Source: author's website).
1984 y separately published work icon The Watcher in the Garden Joan Phipson , North Ryde : Methuen , 1982 Z832705 1982 single work children's fiction children's

'Trespassing in Mr Lovett's secluded garden was a welcome escape for sixteen-year-old Catherine. A haven away from the parents who didn't understand her moodiness and from her pretty, even-tempered sister, Diana, who she resented. It was a place to be alone.

But this all changes when Catherine is confronted by Mr Lovett and, realising he is blind, decides to confide in him. And so begins a remarkable friendship.

Unexpectedly, a third person appears in the garden: an intruder. Terry, abrasive and sullen, menacing even—has a claim to make on the garden. It is a piece of land he feels should belong to his own family. In his plan neither Mr Lovett nor the garden are safe and it is up to Catherine to stop him but in Terry, she recognises something of herself.

A complex and gripping novel of human relationships from one of Australia's foremost authors for young adults.' (Publisher's blurb)

1982 y separately published work icon Playing Beatie Bow Ruth Park , Melbourne : Nelson , 1980 Z47803 1980 single work novel young adult fantasy (taught in 5 units) When Abigail joins in the game of Beatie Bow she is transported back in time to a Sydney of the late 19th century where she meets the Bow family, whose fate she can predict, but which she is powerless to change.
1980 y separately published work icon A Dream of Seas Lilith Norman , Sydney : Collins , 1978 Z372600 1978 single work children's fiction children's 'The boy is lonely following the loss of his father and clings to a fantasy of one day becoming a seal. Are they seals - or only boardriders in wetsuits? Maybe there's a magical distance where things are what you want them to be, not what they are. At least, that's the boy's dream. It's a dream that draws him back and back to the sea, because the sea is the only world that washes them all: the boy, his drowned father, and the newborn seal cub.' (Source: QBD Books)

1978 y separately published work icon The October Child Eleanor Spence , London : Oxford University Press , 1976 Z561519 1976 single work novel young adult

'The arrival of baby Carl marks a turning point in the lives of the Mariners. Loved and wanted though he is, Carl casts a shadow over the household, and his adolescent brother becomes increasingly resentful and bewildered.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1976 y separately published work icon The Nargun and the Stars Patricia Wrightson , Richmond London : Hutchinson , 1973 Z862349 1973 single work children's fiction children's (taught in 3 units)

Simon Brent is orphaned. Still shocked, he is taken to live with his only relatives, brother and sister Charlie and Edie Waters, who live on a farm. There, Simon meets the Aboriginal spirits who also live on the land. Together Simon, Charlie, Edie, and the spirits save the land from the ancient Nargun. The story is memorable in the portrayal of the Nargun and the spirits, as well as the characters of Charlie and Edie, and the depiction of Simon's change from a shocked and emotionally frozen individual to a normal boy.

1974 y separately published work icon Josh Ivan Southall , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1971 Z116555 1971 single work novel young adult Fourteen year old Josh Plowman goes to country Victoria to visit his father's Aunt Clara, the matriarch of the Plowman family. Aunt Clara lives a life very much suited to the past and Josh regards her house as a museum. Aunt Clara is keen for Josh to make friends with the local children but Josh meets with a hostile reception. There are undercurrents at work which Josh cannot ever understand. (Source: Book)
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