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Children’s Book Council of Australia

when monsters refuse to die

“It would not be an absolute disaster until the tea ran out.”

Cats and tea, what more could I want from a book (I thought…)

Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix (Allen and Unwin, 2021) is on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers award. I don’t think it deserves shortlistdom, but the judges and I don’t get along (even when they change every year). My reading quest for the book shows why I rarely like high fantasy. I’m about to fall asleep from the middle boredom of it. I’ll finish as audio book, but have to wait until July for a library copy. That doesn’t bother me at all, since I need a break from Abhorsen incompetence. At this stage (p.298) Elinor should ditch the rest of them and slay the monsters herself.

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on the road on fire

“Being out there on the road made me realise that people are always playing with your story, inventing you, changing who you are to suit them.”

I love Girls in Boy’s Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan, 2021). It’s heartbreaking and clever and full of the teen angst of growing up female. There’s a road trip, make-overs, a drowned town and more crimes than should be able to fit in one book. It’s on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers award. I wrote this for the CBCA WA Shortlist talk this week, but I caught covid (of course I did) and handed in my words for someone else to say.

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girls in boy’s cars

I love Girls in Boy’s Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan, 2021). It’s heartbreaking and clever and full of the teen angst of growing up female. There’s a road trip, make-overs, a drowned town and more crimes than should be able to fit in one book. I wrote this for the CBCA WA Shortlist talk tonight and just realised what’s saved to my phone is different to what’s on my computer which is now fast asleep. Come back later for the full version. But know I love Rosa’s tale and I wanted to slap Asheeka many times.

“Most stories don’t really go ahead in straight lines. They get jumbled up and you have to untangle them again (just like life, I suppose).”

Rosa is in juvenile detention and as she writes her story, she’s talking to her counsellor, making friends with the other girls, and remembering her court case. Bit by bit she reveals why she’s there and why her partner in crime Asheeka is MIA.

“I got stuck forever on that same highway, forever turning in circles, forever turning backwards, coming back.”

peta lyre’s rating

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley (Allen & Unwin, 2020) is shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2021. Providing a compelling story while giving insight into navigating highschool while neurodiverse.

“I love how he can always find a way to laugh, no matter how crap everything gets.”

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you’re burning my life

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting (Walker Books, 2020) has mystery, mayhem, a dog or two. What more could I ask for? No murder, sadly, but something kind of just as bad. All of it 10-12 years old friendly. Also, shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2021.

“I needed a dog that knew how to forge ahead and not look back.”

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hashtags for days

This has spoilers. If you want to read with the spoilers hidden, go to my Goodreads version. (You don’t have to be a member to read it.)

Two weeks into my 2018 Reading Challenge half of January’s books changed, but I got through all four and loved my surprise additions. (No DNFing around here.) I also love Gabrielle Williams’ books, so I’ve been wanting to read My Life as a Hashtag (Allen and Unwin, 2017) for a year. It only took a reading challenge to make it happen.

“I was going to have the worst night of my life, and they should be there for it. That was what friends did for each other.”

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three girls and a bunch of lies

“As usual, I don’t know which way is north, but I know the direction of beauty.”

Last month my Book Group did Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood (Pan Mcmillan, 2017). A trio of prodigious writers, writing a stunning story.

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broken, drowning

“How long could you stand there in one spot, not moving, before someone noticed or said something or asked you to move?”

Back in August One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the Inky Award 2017 and won CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017. I was paying so little attention, I noticed neither. But I know what I feel for One Would Think the Deep, as it twisted my heart and wrung me dry.

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losing the main attraction

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (Penguin, 2016) is a powerful story. I finished it three months ago, but it still fills my thoughts. Well deserving of all the award love heaped its way. On the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and longlisted for the Inky Awards 2017.

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