Tag Archives: #Bookawards

Escape to Everywhere

Australia punches well above its weight when it comes to children’s literature – so it is particularly fitting that we devote an entire week to celebrating this each year. This year’s CBCA Book Week theme is “Escape to Everywhere”, which perfectly describes what great writing means to me: whether it takes you to a fantasy land within your mind, or offers a glimpse of life elsewhere on Earth – a great book stretches your imagination and broadens your horizons.  Drumroll please for this year’s winners…

Book of the Year: Older Readers

One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn

Claire Zorn is a YA force to be reckoned with – all three of her novels are award-winners, including two CBCA Book of the Year awards (The Protected won in 2015).  One Would Think the Deep is about Sam, whose mum dies suddenly, shockingly, in his arms.  Having no options, he moves to the coast to live with his estranged aunt and cousins.  In this new environment, he struggles to process his grief, shock and anger – but also finds some solace in the surf.  One Would Think the Deep is almost painful to read, but Claire Zorn’s complex characterisation and raw, visceral portrayal of grief draws you in and doesn’t let go.

Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Rockhopping by Trace Balla

Trace Balla is another rising star, with both Rockhopping and its prequel, Rivertime, winning major awards. Having travelled down the Glenelg river together in Rivertime, Uncle Egg has finally agreed to take Clancy hiking to the Glenelg’s source in Gariwerd (the Grampians). During their five days in the wilderness, they see lots of flora and fauna, meet other hikers, have some scary moments – and Clancy grows up a little.  Trace Balla shows her love of nature through her incredibly detailed illustrations; she also conveys some beautiful messages about slowing down, living in the moment and respecting indigenous culture.

Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Go Home, Cheeky Animals! by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley

Inspired by life in Tennant Creek, Go Home, Cheeky Animals! is a great book for reading aloud (loudly!), with lots of opportunities for audience participation.  There are too many cheeky dogs in Canteen Creek, but when the weather changes and more cheeky animals arrive, chaos begins! The lively rhythm of the text and child-like illustrations combine to present a hilarious and riotous scenario that will appeal to both school-aged and younger children.

Picture Book of the Year

Home in the Rain by Bob Graham

“Delightful” and “heartwarming” are no exaggeration when it comes to Bob Graham’s books – he is an expert at showing the humour and joy in the minutiae of life.  Home in the Rain starts with a little red car stuck in traffic – Francie, her mum and her baby sister (warmly tucked inside Mummy’s tum)  face a long drive on a rain-sodden day. From such an ordinary premise, Bob Graham has crafted a tender story that makes your heart glow. Home in the Rain is his eighth CBCA win – and a compelling example of why Bob Graham is one of our most beloved and awarded authors.

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks by Gina M. Newton

Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks showcases more than 120 animals from 55 National Parks around Australia – from our national icons, through birds, to fish and insects. The book is divided into seven sections, each exploring a different habitat; thus offering additional insights into geography and ecology.  Gina M. Newton and NLA Publishing have done a terrific job in making a wealth of information accessible rather than overwhelming, using a range of colour coding, charts, maps and photos. Perfect for browsing as well as for reference.

The Crichton Award for New Illustrators

The Patchwork Bike by Van T. Rudd (text by Maxine Beneba Clarke)

A streetwise gang of children build a patchwork bike using what they can find – branches for handlebars, a flour sack for a flag. This exuberant story highlights the joy of making your own fun using creativity and imagination. The setting is hugely different from suburban Australia, emphasising how play is universally valued by kids, whatever their circumstances.  The street-art style of Van T Rudd perfectly matches the rhythmic text of slam-poet Maxine Beneba Clarke.

The Inky Awards 2015: who will win?

Today we’ll take a look at the Inky Awards, whose winners will be announced next week (October 13).  The Inkys are an annual celebration of quality young adult (YA) literature, hosted by the State Library of Victoria.  Teen readers are actively involved throughout the judging process – from selecting the longlists and shortlists out of the nominations, to voting for the winners.  While shortlists are chosen for their quality, originality, readability and age-appropriateness, the winner is chosen by popular vote. Two prizes are awarded each year – the Gold Inky for an Australian book, and the Silver Inky for an international book.

This year’s Gold Inky looks set to be tightly contested.  The five shortlisted books are all compelling reads.   They are diverse in style and themes – there’s something for everyone.  I have found it hard to pick one standout book so I have highlighted a special quality of each one.  Enjoy!

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

Why it’s good: so funny, you wish you were part of the gang

For Alba and her friends, high school is over, and Christmas and a leisurely summer beckon. However, their plans are interrupted by an obscure prediction for apocalypse, resulting in hundreds of “believers” descending on their sleepy little town. There’s nothing like imminent doom and an influx of strangers to focus the mind on big Life Decisions, such as: What do I want to do in life?, and: Is heading to the City for uni and a career inevitable?, and: How do I really feel about my best friend – is it friendship … or love?

Alba is an appealing heroine – bold, sassy, technicolored like her comic-book creations; but beneath that chutzpah there is angst and vulnerability.  The easy camaraderie between Alba and her wise-cracking gang is endearing and hilarious.  They may not be “conventionally cool” people, but they are having so much fun that you’ll wish you were one of them. The book’s cover art – in retro comic- book style – complements the story perfectly.

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

Why it’s good: a tense page-turner that transcends the “YA” tag

Sydney, 1932: the inner suburbs are a hotbed of crime and poverty, such that the tabloids dub Darlinghurst and Surry Hills “Razorhurst” and “Sorrow Hills”.  Razor gangs rule these areas with violence, and everyone lives or dies by their wits.  When Dymphna and Kelpie discover the aftermath of a brutal murder, they realise they are in great danger. Over the next 24 hours, they run, plot, mask their fears, and constantly recalculate their best strategies for survival.  As the truce between rival gangs crumbles and power shifts, will they live till tomorrow?

Razorhurst is anchored by a pair of feisty, street-smart heroines: Kelpie, a street urchin who never misses small details; and Dymphna, beautiful, intelligent, a (literal) femme fatale nicknamed “Angel of Death”.  They may seem poles apart but they share similarly traumatic pasts and an ability to see and hear ghosts – a twist that adds unexpected richness to the plot.

Razorhurst is a tense noir thriller.  Larbalestier’s meticulous research shines through in the vivid evocation of that glamourous-yet-gritty era.  It definitely deserves a wider readership than the YA tag would suggest.

Laurinda by Alice Pung

Why it’s good: schoolyard intrigues that get under your skin

John Marsden praises Laurinda as “funny, horrifying, and sharp as a serpent’s fangs” and he is spot-on.  Laurinda’s depictions of the insular world of an exclusive girls’ school are likely to bring back memories – especially the uncomfortable ones – to anyone who has ever experienced the bitchiness and power plays of teenage girldom.

Lucy Lam, Asian and from a poor neighbourhood, wins a scholarship to Laurinda: “no ‘Ladies’ College’ after it, of course; the name was meant to speak for itself”.  Far out of her comfort zone, her confidence falters; she becomes a quiet but keen-eyed observer of the power dynamics of her new environment.  Her outsider status offers her the perspective to critique Laurindan society and see its rottenness – condescension, casual racism, bullying.  When the most powerful clique at Laurinda makes overtures to Lucy, she becomes torn between her aspirations for sophistication and middle-class values, and her disgust at the duplicity inherent in privilege and “good manners”.  Will she retain her identity and stand her ground, or will she join in, in order to leave the poverty and lack of opportunities of her current life?

Alice Pung’s first foray into fiction elaborates on the themes of identity and belonging prominent in her earlier work. She offers a valuable voice for immigrant youth everywhere, who are trying to navigate issues of race and class in their adopted homeland.

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Why it’s good: a breezy holiday read with important life lessons

Sweet, earnest, gawky Josie has tumbled into an internship at a top women’s magazine.  This isn’t her first choice – she wants to become a newspaper journalist – but a prize for the Best Intern keeps her motivated.   Each week, Josie’s internship offers a glimpse into an exciting and glamorous adult life – living in a big city, meeting celebrities – although it also shows its dark side, with body image issues and online bullying.  As she focuses more on her internship, she loses touch with her family and friends.  Soon she has to make tough decisions about what matters most, and how to maintain her integrity.

The Intern is a fun read with coming-of-age themes.   Josie is not perfect, but likeable and relatable.  Gabrielle Tozer uses her own experience in magazine publishing to create an authentic setting, with just the right touch of ridiculousness.  Josie’s fish-out-of-water story invites comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada; what sets them apart is the Intern’s background detail- the struggles of Josie’s mother and sister since her father left the family; the exploration of issues surrounding body image, eating disorders, the definition of success and cyberbullying. Many supporting characters are drawn with depth, and I look forward to meeting them again in the sequel, Faking It, which is now available.

The Protected by Claire Zorn

Why it’s good: a harrowing but un-putdownable read

The Protected has already won this year’s CBCA Older Readers Book of the Year, will it win an Inky as well?  The Protected is not “fun” or “entertaining”, but it is mesmerising and unforgettable.  It reads like a mystery – the events that lead to the current tragic situation are slowly revealed.  The Protected draws readers in, empathising with Hannah, hoping against hope that she will have a happy, or at least hopeful, ending.

Hannah is a quiet, withdrawn fifteen year old, who has been shuttled from psychologist to psychologist following the death of her sister Katie.  The accident that killed Katie also left Hannah’s father seriously injured, and her mother clinically depressed.  When Hannah starts to connect with the school’s counsellor, the full tragedy of her situation is finally revealed.  Hannah’s pain is caused by years of relentless bullying – while her cool, beautiful sister watches on. Katie’s death leads to a tangle of guilt and grief and anger that Hannah, nurtured by the glimmerings of new friendships, finally learns to deal with.  The Protected is a powerful story with complex characterisation, all the effective because it is quietly, gently told.

For more information, including the shortlist for the Silver Inkys, see https://insideadog.com.au/page/inky-awards

#LoveOzYA and great Aussie reads for teens

Today we round-off our spotlight on the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards by looking at winners in the Older Readers category.  One interesting fact is that all three honoured authors are first-time or early career novelists!

Book of the Year (Older Readers)

Winner:  The Protected by Claire Zorn

Hannah’s sister Katie has been dead nearly a year, irretrievably shattering her family’s lives.  Since then she has been shuttled from psychologist to psychologist – but who wouldn’t have problems when they have a depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister?  When she starts to connect with the school’s counsellor, the full tragedy of Hannah’s situation is finally revealed – she has been a victim of extended bullying, while her cool, beautiful sister stood by.  This is the story of how Hannah slowly deals with her grief, hurt and guilt, nurtured by the glimmerings of new friendships.

I was devastated by Hannah’s story, particularly the depictions of bullying, how poisonous but random these vicious acts can be.  The characters are complex – particularly the deceased Katie – and far removed from cliches.  The complexity of their feelings for each other is unexpected and riveting.

Claire Zorn is an exciting new author whose two novels have both received critical acclaim.  While her debut novel, The Sky so Heavy, was a CBCA Honour book last year, The Protected has done one better by winning the Older Readers Book of the Year.  The Protected has also won the Young Adult prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Honour book:  Nona and Me by Clare Atkins

 Rosie is a white girl living in the Aboriginal community of Yirrkala in Arnhem Land.  Her family was adopted into that community years ago; Rosie grew up with Nona, an Aboriginal girl who became her sister – Yapa.  They were inseparable until Nona went away at age nine.

Fast forward six years and Rosie is at the mainstream (i.e. mainly white) high school in the nearby mining town.  She is navigating through familiar teenage minefields – trying to conform, to fit in, crushing on a cute boy.  When Nona returns unexpectedly, Rosie’s Aboriginal links become a source of tension.  Will she risk prejudice and exclusion, in order to reconnect with Nona?

Nona & Me is a powerful story about friendship, community and being true to oneself.  It also presents an unusual take on being caught between two cultures.  Nona and Nick, both crucial to the story, remain somewhat elusive – I would like to get to know them better.  Clare Atkins is a first-time author with a background in screenwriting.  Nona & Me was written while Clare lived in the Aboriginal community of Yirrkala, and contains significant input from its Yolnu community.

Honour book:  The Minnow by Diana Sweeney

The Minnow is Diana Sweeney’s first novel.  It had already won an award as an unpublished manuscript (the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, in 2013) so it is no surprise that the published version is also a critical success.  Tom is a fourteen-year-old girl adjusting to life after her personal apocalypse – a massive flood that has killed the rest of her family and destroyed much of her town.  After leaving an abusive environment, a pregnant Tom seeks refuge by moving in with her best friend, Jonah. Tom’s bond with Jonah, her wise and vivacious Nana, and with The Minnow – her name for her unborn child – slowly allow her to process her grief and move on with her life.

The Minnow deals with some confronting topics – Death, grief and abuse – but it is not grim.  Instead it is melancholy, dreamlike and somewhat surreal, due to Tom’s regular conversations with her dead family, Oscar the pet carp, and Sarah the catfish (that just may be Tom’s dead sister).  Is Tom unhinged, or is she constructing an alternative reality in her mind? However you interpret this, it does not detract from Tom’s appeal – she is strong and steadfast and utterly admirable.  And mature – it is hard to remember she is only fourteen.

These prize winners represent only a tiny fraction of a diverse and vibrant local industry. Recently the Australian YA community – authors, teachers, librarians and booksellers – have used the #LoveOzYA hashtag to publicise the quality and range of Australian YA.  This is to counter the overwhelming attention given to blockbuster imports such as Hunger Games and Fault in Our Stars, supported by the significant marketing budgets of big publishers and film studios.

Search for “#LoveOzYA readalikes” on the internet and you will find many suggestions of great Aussie reads that explore similar territory to your favourite overseas authors.  Some of these readalikes include:

For fans of paranormal romance try Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo series

 

 

 

 

 

 

For stories with a multicultural perspective try Alice Pung’s Laurinda,

 

 

 

 

 

For fans of dark fantasy try Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

For fans of John Green try Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

 

 

 

 

 

 

For fans of morally ambiguous stories try Justine Larbalestier’s Liar

Man Booker Prize Longlist (Part 2)

Rounding out the last 7 titles of the Man Booker Prize Longlist are stories centred on family, loss, haunted histories and re-imagined futures.  Enjoy.

https-::covers.booko.info:300:illuminationsAndrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations

How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? The Illuminations, Andrew O’Hagan’s fifth novel, is a beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact. Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth a pioneer of British documentary photography. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain with the Royal Western Fusiliers, is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, part of a convoy taking equipment to the electricity plant at Kajaki. Only when Luke returns home to Scotland does Anne’s secret story begin to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room.

 

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Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila

Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church – the only available shelter from the rain – and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and widower, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security.

 

Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter

A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, and a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear, as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it. This is a stark and unflinching novel by a spellbinding storyteller, about religion, love, and violence in the modern world.

Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways

The Year of the Runaways tells of the bold dreams and daily struggles of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance. Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in desperate search of a new life. Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar; and Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the chaotic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call. Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present day, this generous, unforgettable novel is – as with Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance – a story of dignity in the face of adversity and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes

The Chimes is set in a reimagined London, in a world where people cannot form new memories, and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed. In the absence of both memory and writing is music. In a world where the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphamy, all appears lost. But Simon Wythern, a young man who arrives in London seeking the truth about what really happened to his parents, discovers he has a gift that could change all of this forever.

Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions of families – the essential nature of family life.

Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life

Moving to New York to pursue creative ambitions, four former classmates share decades marked by love, loss, addiction and haunting elements from a brutal childhood.

Man Booker Prize 2015 Longlist (Part 1)

The Man Booker prize is focused on promoting the best writing in fiction. In 2013 the rules for submission to the Man Booker Prize changed to allow any novel written in English to compete (previously only UK publishers could submit manuscripts). This year there are 13 novels in contention from countries as diverse as Jamaica, Nigeria, Ireland and India. 5 of the 13 novels on the longlist are from US authors and only 3 from the UK.

Here are 6 of the longlist finalists:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:familyBill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family

This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family – her present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:greenAnne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road

A darkly glinting novel set on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, The Green Road is a story of fracture and family, selfishness and compassion – a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we learn to fill them. The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:sevenkillingsMarlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings

Marlon James combines masterful storytelling with his unrivaled skill at characterization and his meticulous eye for detail to forge a novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

 

 

 

 

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Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account

Inspired by a true story, tells how Moroccan slave Estebanico barely survives his expedition to become the New World’s first explorer of African descent, dealing with storms, disease, and hostile natives.

 

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:satinTom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island

Meet U. — a talented and uneasy figure currently pimping his skills to an elite consultancy in contemporary London. His employers advise everyone from big businesses to governments, and, to this end, expect their ‘corporate anthropologist’ to help decode and manipulate the world around them — all the more so now that a giant, epoch-defining project is in the offing. Instead, U. spends his days procrastinating, meandering through endless buffer-zones of information and becoming obsessed by the images with which the world bombards him on a daily basis: oil spills, African traffic jams, roller-blade processions, zombie parades. Is there, U. wonders, a secret logic holding all these images together — a codex that, once cracked, will unlock the master-meaning of our age? Might it have something to do with South Pacific Cargo Cults, or the dead parachutists in the news? Perhaps; perhaps not. As U. oscillates between the visionary and the vague, brilliance and bullshit, Satin Island emerges, an impassioned and exquisite novel for our disjointed times.

 

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Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen

In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers – the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen – use their strict father’s absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophecy breaks their strong bond, and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions. Passionate and bold, The Fishermen is a breathtakingly beautiful novel, firmly rooted in the best of African storytelling. With this powerful debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices in world literature.

 

The Guardian Children’s fiction award for 2015 – Longlist

The 8 finalists for the Guardian Children’s fiction award for 2015 are diverse and complex according to Piers Torday (author of ‘The Dark Wild’ and winner of the Guardian Children’s fiction prize in 2014). ‘These books are quite simply some of the best writing for children today, from graphic novels to Victorian sequels, Greek myths to the US civil war. Diverse, complex, accessible experimental, page turning and heart breaking, they bring young readers the world on a single shelf.’

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:9780571323Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

This book is an incredible, heart-wrenching sequel to E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It, set on the eve of the First World War. The five children have grown up – war will change their lives forever. Cyril is off to fight, Anthea is at Art College, Robert is a Cambridge scholar and Jane is at high school. The Lamb is the grown up age of 11, and he has a little sister, Edith, in tow. The sand fairy has become a creature of stories…until he suddenly reappears.

 

 

My Name’s not Friday by Jon Walterhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:Friday

A tale of the American Civil War from the perspective of an educated orphan boy sold into slavery.

 

 

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:islandAn Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls

From one of the brightest talents in children’s fiction and the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care.

 

 

 

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardingehttps-::covers.booko.info:300:lie

Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as the tree bears more and more fruit, she discovers something terrifying – that her lies were closer to the truth than she could ever have imagined.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:deafoEl Deafo by Cece Bell

The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”

 

 

 

 

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almondhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:ella

I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both… knew how they lived and how they died. Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:brightAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossanhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:apple

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.