Our mid-year bookish awards for 2014 (for young people)
Best Young Adult memoir:
Popular by Maya Van Wagenen
Some teenage diaries are best kept under lock and key, but happily this one is charming, well-written, and a great insight into 8th Grade politics.
Best translated Young Adult novel:
Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen
Eccentric and unique, with quirky humour and dark turns, this is something a little different for readers of 12 and up about three sisters and a mystery that begins to unfold when they move into a new house.
Best second novel for young adults:
Head of the River by Pip Harry
We really enjoyed Pip Harry’s debut novel, I’ll Tell You Mine, a very satisfying contemporary story set in an inner-city boarding school. Head of the River is about the huge expectations placed on teens with a talent for sport, and it’s a really strong second book by an Australian author.
Best book for young readers that got missed late last year:
Stay Well Soon by Penny Tangey
With a somewhat dreary cover, which sidelines one of the books major strengths - its humour - Stay Well Soon didn’t make the impact it should have done with tween readers. But we were delighted to put it on the shortlist for our Readings Children’s Book Prize and have found that it’s been a popular choice, especially with girls around 10+. We’d love to see more for this age group from Penny Tangey, who has a knack for writing about difficult issues with an authentic voice, lightness of touch and a hopeful but not saccharine message.
Best ‘back in print’ children’s book:
Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
Always, always be suspicious if your brother offers to make you a sandwich. This novelty book may look good enough to eat but beware the sneaky surprises as you look underneath each filling!
Best fish and chip shop owner:
Max by Marc Martin
Bob owns a fish and chip shop and he’s best friends with Max, who happens to be a seagull. 100 points right there. The two of them go fishing together so, 100 more. Then Bob’s forced to relocate and Max is so devoted he flies across the city to find him. Bob must be a very special fish and chip shop owner is what I’m saying. 1000 points.
Best book to inspire young scientists:
Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Emily Sutton
Our reviewer says, these ‘delightful illustrations that capture the invisible world of the micro-organism and, along with it, the imagination of the scientist in every child.’
Best new picture book featuring a chicken
Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs
Mr Chicken is not like other chickens, and we mean that in a good way. Check out Mr Chicken creator Leigh Hobbs' sketchbook of ideas in this video. There’s no one we’d rather tour London with than Mr C, even though he’d elbow us out of the way to get the best seat on the bus.