Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

2021 Shortlist 

Congratulations to the finalists!


The End of the World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell (Text Publishing)

Judges' comments 

With more than a nod to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the writer has created a wild and genre-bending lyrical allegory set in the near future.  The twinned voices of Summer and Winter are the unreliable narrators of tales of exile, survival and obsessive love.

Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin) 

Judges' comments 

Wen Zhou is the artistic child of Chinese immigrants. She and her parents are struggling to find their footing — to find happiness. Wen’s comfort comes from the dreams of a happy future she shares with her best friend, Henry. But when Henry experiences a heartbreaking tragedy, Wen must use her strength and resilience to help him and her family. Rebecca Lim’s writing swiftly sweeps you along Wen’s journey and leaves you with your thoughts lingering on it long after.

The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough (Allen & Unwin)

Judges' comments 

The Boy From The Mish is a heartfelt coming of age story about love and community. When Jackson’s Aunty brings Tomas to the Mish, the boys quickly find a connection with each other and develop a relationship that is both beautiful and authentic. Lonesborough brings humour, culture, and lovable characters to the page in The Boy From The Mish. It is immediately immersive — delicately painting a story that is not easy to put down.

Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore (Text Publishing)

Judges' comments 

Dylan has lost her adored mother in an accident, and with her an anchor point to place and identity. She embarks on a cross-country journey of discovery with her mum’s partner, but it’s a road trip where the map has been shredded and the remnants tossed to the winds. In Dylan, Moore has created a character whose perspective on the world, both visual and emotional, will stay with the reader long after the book has been closed and held tight to the chest. A beautifully crafted work of magical realism set in an often unsentimental world.

The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin)

Judges' comments 

An ingenious psychological thriller following teenager Cecily who has woken into the strange imprisoning world of a self-driving bus.  She and her random crew of companions are faced with a series of ethical dilemmas that become ever more confronting and more dangerous.