We’re thrilled that two of our books are on the Children’s Book Council Awards (CBCA) shortlists: The Minnow by Diana Sweeney (Books for Older Readers) and A–Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land by Simon Barnard (Eve Pownall Award for Information Books). Two titles have also been recognised as Notable books for 2015: The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt (Books for Younger Readers) and The Astrologer’s Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Books for Older Readers). Visit the CBCA website for the full shortlists.
The Minnow, winner of the 2013 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story. Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby. In her grief and confusion, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.
‘Quietly powerful and compelling. A tender, lyrical book about love, loss and starting over.’ Meg Rosoff
‘Diana Sweeney gives Tom a believable voice: innocent, headstrong, anxious but determined...this strong debut will resonate with young people and adults alike.’ Books+Publishing
‘This is an extraordinary, original, rich and surprising novel...Tom is an unforgettable character.’ Magpies
Watch the trailer below and download the Australian curriculum teaching notes here.
Simon Barnard’s A–Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land is a rich and compelling account of the lives of the men, women and children who were transported to Tasmania for crimes ranging from stealing bread to poisoning family members. Their sentences, punishments, achievements and suffering make for fascinating reading. And the spectacular illustrations, each one carefully drawn in meticulous detail from contemporary records, bring this extraordinary history to life.
‘Australian convict history is a crowded field, but Barnard’s detailed and vivid illustrations breathe fresh life into it…Every school library should own A–Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land...not to mention interested adults.’ Australian Book Review
‘Barnard’s impressive craftsmanship has produced a truly handsome book design that pays loving homage to its 19th century sources...School students often complain about the dullness of Australian history. Barnard’s highly entertaining book is the perfect antidote to the usual sober textbook treatment of the convict era.’ Reading Time
‘Simon Barnard brings Tasmania’s remarkable convict story to life.’ James Boyce, author of Van Diemen’s Land
Download Australian curriculum teaching notes here.