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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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Notables 2016

when your mother is a tree

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

“And her face vanished in the crown of leaves that spread across the summer sky.”

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray (Text Publishing, 2015) was shortlisted for last year’s CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers. I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray’s whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain – why did it take me so long??

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talk under water

Talk Under Water by Kathryn Lomer was shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards and on the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2016.

I love this book, Kathryn Lomer’s love of nature, her amazing sense of place, the beauty of Tasmamia. I feel the wind in my hair, the spray on my face, circumnavigating Bruny Island. I don’t know why it took me 6 months to finish reading, perhaps I wanted to savour my enjoyment.

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one true thing

One True Thing by Nicole Hayes (Random House, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards and on the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2016. Goodreads agrees with all the love. Somehow I wasn’t captivated.

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the flywheel

The Flywheel by Erin Gough (Hardie Grant Egmont, 2015) was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2016 and longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. Did it made the Inky longlist due to cameos from the Marx Brothers?

“Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

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waiting for…

Note: this is slightly spoilery. if that bothers you, read until you get to the dog, then stop. Dogs always sidetrack me.

“Everything in Mobius stretched to reach the light: we built our houses on stilts, our trees grew tall and spindly, our shadows were long.”

When you’re stuck between yesterday and tomorrow, where is there to go? Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing, 2015) was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2016 and longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. I’m hopeful of winning all round!

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for the forest of a bird

For the Forest of a Bird by Sue Saliba

“The time when everything was in-between, when everything was leaving or arriving or waiting to be, when there was a gap, a moment of change and uncertainty, and, yes, life.”

For the Forest of a Bird by Sue Saliba (Penguin, 2015) is another book longlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016.

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select all. delete

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Note: this is somewhat spoilery. And my keyboard didn’t have quite the right diacritics so apologies for mangling Vân Uóc’s beautiful name.

“If you survived then you were all right; no – lucky. What problems? You’re alive! She wanted more than survival. She wanted beauty; she wanted love; she wanted abundance.”

When abundance falls in your lap in the form of “the heart of one very hot dickhead,” is it true love or something else entirely?

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nightmares and dreamscapes

In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

“Here’s the thing about moments. The world can change in them and people can die in them and just one is all it takes to make a mistake that will last you a lifetime.”

In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker stole my composure and refuses to shake its dreamscape from my bones. After whinging about The Pause not meeting my expectations, this book spirals so far past surreal, it bypasses the sublime completely and exits somewhere out west where the baked earth meets the Milky Way. Sadly the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016 didn’t meet my expectations. In The Skin of a Monster made the longlist but not the shortlist. It did win the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel 2015.

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pausing at the edge

The Pause by John Larkin

I knew what I was getting into when I read The Pause by John Larkin. Ok, I only borrowed it from the library because it was long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. After reading the blurb, I momentarily considered sending it right back, instead I stepped into the void, knowing full well the consequences of my folly.

If, like me, reading about suicide is triggering, you might want to turn back now and never pick up The Pause. Or you could forge ahead and see if you come out the other side. I did!

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