Congratulations to the finalists!
My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)
Birdwatcher Luke and his big brother Ben share a tight bond that is under strain as they grow older. Can winning a boat prevent them from drifting apart? Gentle observation, beguiling line illustrations and lyrical prose centre this celebration of brotherhood while also evoking an idyllic Queensland childhood spent revelling in nature.
A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr (Penguin Random House Australia)
When Meixing immigrates to a new land, tragedy strikes and a glasshouse of stars becomes her guiding light in the darkness. A startling blend of second-person narration and magical realism provides an immersive gateway for young readers to experience culture shock, complex grief and the magic of the inexplicable in this exquisitely realised novel.
Kunyi by Kunyi June Anne McInerney (Magabala Books)
At four years old, Kunyi was taken from her family to Oodnadatta Children’s Home where she was made to change her name, speak English and form a new family with other taken children. Raw, honest, significant, Kunyi's collection of stories and paintings details sorrow, courage, resilience and love, and is an unforgettable chronicle of childhood experienced by a Stolen Generations survivor.
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran and illustrated by Michelle Pereira (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing)
Zimdalamashkermishkada shortens his name to fit in, but new friend Elly and practising skateboarding gives him a new confidence. Vivacious illustrations in hues of green, brown and apricot complement impeccably paced prose to distil this intricate tale of acceptance and belonging that revels in the joy of learning something new.
The First Scientists by Corey Tutt illustrated by Blak Douglas (Hardie Grant Explore)
From astronomy to engineering, forensic science to chemistry, technology to ecology, this engaging collection of scientific ingenuity celebrates Indigenous knowledge while honouring First Nations peoples as the first scientists. Lively illustrations and imagery meet intuitive design and information in this groundbreaking non-fiction book that will inspire the next generation of deadly scientists.
Supported by Susan Hocking and Ian Mackie, and their family, through The Hocking Mackie Trust at APS Foundation.