Tristan Bancks | Australian Children's & Teen Author | Kids' & YA Books: October 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 YABBA Awards Winners


Great news from the YABBA Awards, held in Melbourne yesterday. 15,000 kids vote for their favourite books in the YABBAs and Two Wolves was lucky enough to win the year 7-9 category alongside a stellar line-up of winners in the other three age-groups: The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man's Cove by George Ivanoff and Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey.

A big thank you to the kids who voted. When you're writing a book you never know if anyone will read it and there's nothing better than knowing that it's being enjoyed.

If you're looking for your next great book or your child's next great book, the YABBA shortlist is a good place to find it: http://yabba.org.au/2015-shortlist/

(Two Wolves is released 17 November in the US as On the Run. Here's hoping it finds a life there!)

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Beauty is in the Walking by James Moloney review



Review of James Moloney's The Beauty is in the Walking by guest reviewer Ella Sharpe, bookseller at The Younger Sun Children's Bookshop in Melbourne.

Set in the Queensland countryside, this new Australian novel is perfect for lovers of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Jacob O’Leary is in his last year of high school and nobody expects much of him – not even his mother, who has lined up a job for him at the local grocery store when high school is over. When an unknown perpetrator, nicknamed ‘The Ripper’, leaves a string of dead farm animals in their wake all fingers are pointing to newcomer, Mahmoud Rais. Jacob is convinced of Mahmoud’s innocence and angry at the town’s persecution and lack of evidence. Jacob sets out to prove Mahmoud’s innocence and in doing so achieves things no one, not even himself, thought he was capable of.

This is a wonderfully written, distinctly Australian book that will have you guessing till the final page. Jacob is a wonderful protagonist; his desire to prove himself despite his limitations is inspiring and uplifting. You will celebrate his achievements, cry at his failures and become vehemently protective of him. This is a great read for anyone who loves a bit of mystery and an underdog rising to the challenge.
Recommended Reading Age – 12+
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray review


Review of Martine Murray's Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by guest reviewer Ella Sharpe, bookseller at The Younger Sun Children's Bookshop in Melbourne.

Molly’s life is a little unusual. Her father and brother have disappeared somewhere in Cuba and her mama makes strange potions out of weird-smelling herbs. Molly would like nothing more than to have a normal life and a normal home – like her best friend Ellen who always has an apricot muesli bar in her lunchbox instead of weird pieces of fruit (pomegranates are not appropriate for eating at school). But when Molly’s mama makes a potion that transforms herself into a tree, Molly must try to find a way to reverse the spell before her nasty neighbours cut the tree down. 

She is helped by the strange, intense Pim who spends his time looking at trees and investigating balls of dirt. But even with Pim’s help time is running out and Molly can’t remember why she ever wanted a different mama. If only she could get her back.

This is a beautiful story, by one of Australia’s best authors for children, teaching the importance of loving yourself and appreciating the things that make everyone different. Molly is an inquisitive and compassionate narrator and it is impossible not to be captivated by this magical, whimsical tale full of love, laughter and tears.

Reading age recommendation 8+
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