Griffith University Children's Book Award

2019 Shortlist 

Griffith University Children's Book Award

Congratulations to the finalists!

 

Leave Taking (UQP) by Lorraine Marwood

Judges' comments 

As Toby plans his farewell not only to the farm, but to his beloved sister, he relishes their shared moments. Tender, sensory and poetic, Leave Taking offers Toby the space to remember, grieve and begin healing. Evocative illustrations by Peter Carnavas sensitively complement this moving verse novel. 

Black Cockatoo (Magabala) by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler

Judges' comments

Mia, a young Jaru girl, endures her brother Jy’s belligerence as she tends her totem animal, a dirrarn (black cockatoo), the victim of his misadventure into adolescence. The emotive simple text eloquently reveals a universal story of a young girl’s journey as she struggles to discover her inner strength and connection to family.

The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars (Allen & Unwin) by Jaclyn Moriarty

Illustrated by Kelly Canby

Judges' comments 

Augmented by delightful illustrations, Jaclyn Moriarty’s richly imagined and original fantasy pits orphan Fin and rich girl Honey Bee against child- stealing whispering magicians. Stylistically inventive and masterful in its use of (bickering) voice, this rollicking story is very funny, yet succeeds in illuminating our world with tenderness, wisdom, and wit.

 

His Name was Walter (HarperCollins) by Emily Rodda

Judges' comments 

Four Australian teenagers stuck overnight in a haunted country house uncover an old crime. Fairy tale, gothic horror and allegory intertwine in this gripping and richly layered mystery about identity and empathy. All is brought to a triumphant conclusion by Rodda’s rich imagination, sumptuous language and masterful control of her craft.

Chalk Boy (Allen & Unwin) by Margaret Wild and Mandy Ord

Judges' comments 

Chalk Boy, brought to life by pavement artist Barnaby, enjoys his brief existence to the full but doesn’t want to wash away on his own. Striking images and spare text create a powerful, challenging and ultimately uplifting story about life and death, loneliness and love in an often uncaring world.