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Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Books
Subcategory of New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
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2021 winner y separately published work icon The Grandest Bookshop in the World Amelia Mellor , Mulgrave : Affirm Press , 2020 19678977 2020 single work children's fiction children's

'Pearl and Vally Cole live in a bookshop. And not just any bookshop. In 1893, Cole's Book Arcade in Melbourne is the grandest bookshop in the world, brimming with every curiosity imaginable. Each day brings fresh delights for the siblings: voice-changing sweets, talking parrots, a new story written just for them by their eccentric father.

'When Pearl and Vally learn that Pa has risked the Arcade - and himself - in a shocking deal with the mysterious Obscurosmith, the siblings hatch a plan. Soon they are swept into a dangerous game with impossibly high stakes: defeat seven challenges by the stroke of midnight and both the Arcade and their father will be restored. But if they fail Pearl and Vally won't just lose Pa - they'll forget that he and the Arcade ever existed.' (Publication summary)

2020 winner y separately published work icon Ella and the Ocean Lian Tanner , Jonathan Bentley (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2019 16562714 2019 single work picture book children's

'A very Australian story of drought and renewal, of family, of imagination and of the power of hope.

Ella lived in the red-dirt country
where the earth was as dry as old bones
and it hadn't rained 
for years
and years
and years.

One night, Ella dreamt of the ocean…'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 joint winner y separately published work icon Dingo Claire Saxby , Tannya Harricks (illustrator), Glebe : Walker Books Australia , 2018 13753131 2018 single work picture book children's

'The night is young and there is hunting to be done. An exciting new addition to the narrative non-fiction series Nature Storybooks, about dingoes.

'Can you see her? There – deep in the stretching shadows – a dingo. Her pointed ears twitch. Her tawny eyes flash in the low-slung sun. Dingo listens. Dusk is a busy time. Dusk is the time for hunting. This lyrical non-fiction picture book is written by award-winning author Claire Saxby and stunningly illustrated by fine artist Tannya Harricks.'  (Publication summary)


With Leave Taking.

2019 joint winner y separately published work icon Leave Taking Lorraine Marwood , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2018 14136050 2018 single work children's fiction children's

'Leave taking noun the act of saying goodbye

'What if you had just one week left to say goodbye to everything you’ve ever known?

'Toby and his mum and dad are leaving their family farm after the death of Toby’s younger sister, Leah. Together, they sort through all their belongings and put things aside to sell or throw out. It’s a big task, and Toby doesn’t want to leave the only place he’s called home. 

'As his last day on the farm approaches, Toby has a plan – a plan to say goodbye to all the things and places that mean something special to him and Leah, from the machinery shed to Pa’s old truck to the chook house. With the help of his best friend, Trigger the dog, he learns what it means to take your leave.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

With Dingo.

2018 winner y separately published work icon How to Bee Bren MacDibble , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2017 10212727 2017 single work children's fiction children's

'Sometimes bees get too big to be up in the branches, sometimes they fall and break their bones. This week both happened and Foreman said, 'Tomorrow we'll find two new bees.'

'Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony's mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony's grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.

'How To Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner y separately published work icon Iris and the Tiger Leanne Hall , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016 8942972 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'Twelve-year-old Iris has been sent to Spain on a mission: to make sure her elderly and unusual aunt, Ursula, leaves her fortune – and her sprawling estate – to Iris's scheming parents.

'But from the moment Iris arrives at Bosque de Nubes, she realises something isn't quite right. There is an odd feeling around the house, where time moves slowly and Iris's eyes play tricks on her. While outside, in the wild and untamed forest, a mysterious animal moves through the shadows.

'Just what is Aunt Ursula hiding?

'But when Iris discovers a painting named Iris and the Tiger, she sets out to uncover the animal's real identity – putting her life in terrible danger.' (Publication summary)

2015 joint winner y separately published work icon Crossing Catherine Norton , Parkside : Omnibus Books , 2014 6765984 2014 single work children's fiction children's

'Cara has grown up in the shadow of the Wall, in a closed world of food shortages and high security. Her parents are dedicated to their secret work for the government, and it’s only a matter of time before her gifted younger sister, Lilith, follows in their footsteps.

'It’s all Cara has ever known, until she meets siblings Ava and Leon. Bold, adventurous Ava doesn’t care for rules or forbidden territory – but she does care for Cara. Together the three children escape each day to the green and summery world of the canal, a lost paradise that runs through the city. Then one day Ava questions the government’s authority, and Cara makes a choice that she might regret forever.' (Source: Author's website)

With Tamsin Janu's Figgy in the World.
2015 joint winner y separately published work icon Figgy in the World Tamsin Janu , Parkside : Omnibus Books , 2014 6961121 2014 single work children's fiction children's

'Figgy has two problems. One is her name. Nobody in Ghana has that name. The other is that her grandmother is ill and needs special medicine. Figgy can't do much about her name, but she can do something for Grandma Ama. She will go to America and bring back the medicine, and Kwame, her special goat, will go with her. Out in the wide world she will meet some bad people, but she will also find good friends.' (Publication summary)

Joint winner with Catherine Norton's Crossing.
2014 winner y separately published work icon The Girl Who Brought Mischief Katrina Nannestad , Sydney : HarperCollins Australia , 2013 Z1913103 2013 single work children's fiction children's 'When the newly orphaned Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm, Denmark, she's not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern and grim, the islanders are reserved and joyless, and at school the children are not allowed to run wild or express themselves the way they did in Copenhagen - especially if you're a girl. Inge tries not to feel sorry for herself, but she misses her mama. And on top of everything else, mischief has a way of finding her no matter how hard she tries to be good... But could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Inge's grandmother and the island of Bornholm need? (Publisher's blurb)
2013 winner y separately published work icon The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon Aaron Blabey , Aaron Blabey (illustrator), Camberwell : Viking , 2011 Z1819082 2011 single work picture book children's

'No matter what hour, she lurked looking sour, be it midnight or mid-afternoon. Her dresses were shabby, her mood always crabby. Her name was Miss Annabel Spoon. Life is cursed for the people of the village of Twee.

'The ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon haunts their every waking hour and they've had enough! But then one day, the brave and practical young Herbert Kettle has the most extraordinary idea ...' (From the publisher's website.)

2012 winner y separately published work icon Crow Country Kate Constable , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1809112 2011 single work children's fiction children's adventure fantasy (taught in 2 units) 'Beginning and ending, always the same, always now. The game, the story, the riddle, hiding and seeking. Crow comes from this place; this place comes from Crow. And Crow has work for you.

'Sadie isn't thrilled when her mother drags her from the city to live in the country town of Boort. But soon she starts making connections - connections with the country, with the past, with two boys, Lachie and Walter, and, most surprisingly, with the ever-present crows.

'When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them?' (From the publisher's website.)
2011 winner y separately published work icon The Hunt for Ned Kelly Sophie Masson , Gosford : Scholastic Australia , 2010 Z1662976 2010 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction 'North-West Victoria, 1879, Jamie Ross and his older sister Ellen are alone in the world after the death of their father. Determined to make their fortune, they head to Beechworth - and straight into the midst of the search for Ned Kelly, the most notorious bushranger of all time. A chance encounter will bring Jamie closer to the outlaw than he could ever have imagined'. Source: bookseller's website.
2010 winner y separately published work icon Krakatoa Lighthouse Allan Baillie , Camberwell : Puffin , 2009 Z1584615 2009 single work children's fiction children's

'Kerta didn't want to go to Krakatoa.

'He knows that a dark spirit, Orang Aljeh, is there and he is terrified he might wake it. But Kerta is there on the volcano, and the Ghost of Krakatoa has woken up.

'A powerful story of survival and loss based on the real-life events of the Krakatoa eruption in 1883.' (Publisher's blurb)

2009 winner y separately published work icon The Word Spy The Word Snoop Ursula Dubosarsky , Camberwell : Penguin , 2008 Z1483408 2008 single work non-fiction children's

'Dear Readers,

'You may not know me, but I know you. I am - the WORD SPY.

'Ever since I can remember, I've been listening to, speaking, reading, and yes, spying on words. The time has come for me to share with you some of the many things I have discovered. All you have to do is open this book ... the wonderful world of words awaits!' (Publisher's blurb)

2008 winner y separately published work icon The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , Anne Spudvilas (illustrator), Camberwell : Viking , 2007 Z1435037 2007 single work picture book children's (taught in 1 units) 'In a poor village in northern China, a small boy is about to be taken away from everything he's ever known. He is so afraid, but his mother urges him to follow his dreams. For soon he will become a dancer, one of the finest dancers in the world...' (Publisher's blurb)
2007 winner y separately published work icon Home Narelle Oliver , Narelle Oliver (illustrator), Malvern : Omnibus Books , 2006 Z1258735 2006 single work picture book children's 'After a hard day flying the falcons arrive in a large city. They make their nests on a ledge in a multi storey building and the males set off to hunt prey.' (Publisher's blurb)
2006 winner y separately published work icon In the Monkey Forest Kierin Meehan , Camberwell : Puffin , 2005 Z1222576 2005 single work children's fiction children's fantasy

Miki Maekawa anticipates a quiet holiday in the old Japanese fishing fishing village of Furube when she is entrusted with a piece of embroided fabric and an ancient ribbon to take with her on the journey. Miki befriends a pixie, and a teenage boy Shu. She finds herself caught up in a world of ancient magic, a house with a floor that moves like water, a Dark priestess, kolobockles (mythical creatures), poisoned sweets and rare owls.

Running through the novel is the love story of Umon and Kageya set in Furube in 1878. (Source: Books from our Backyard)

2005 winner y separately published work icon Farm Kid Sherryl Clark , Camberwell : Puffin , 2004 Z1090707 2004 single work children's fiction children's
2004 winner y separately published work icon Night Singing Kierin Meehan , Camberwell : Puffin , 2003 Z1019678 2003 single work novel young adult ' A funny and fascinating story of contemporary Australia, and a moving tale of survival in Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War. When Josh breaks his leg, he is rescued by his kind but mysterious neighbour.' (Libraries Australia record).
2003 winner 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 winner y separately published work icon The Red Tree Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Port Melbourne : Lothian , 2001 Z926241 2001 single work picture book children's (taught in 4 units) 'The Red Tree is a story without any particular narrative; a series of distinct imaginary worlds as self-contained images which invite readers to draw their own meaning in the absence of any written explanation. As a concept, the book is inspired by the impulse of children and adults alike to describe feelings using metaphor - monsters, storms, sunshine, rainbows and so on ... A nameless young girl appears in every picture, a stand-in for ourselves; she passes helplessly through many dark moments, yet ultimately finds something hopeful at the end of her journey.' (Source: Author's website)
2001 winner y separately published work icon Fox Margaret Wild , Ron Brooks (illustrator), St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 2000 Z820936 2000 single work picture book children's (taught in 2 units) "An injured magpie and a one-eyed dog live happily together in the forest until a jealous fox arrives to teach them what it means to be alone." (Source: Google Books)