2018 Prime Minister’s Awards

The winners of the Australian Prime Minister’s Awards have been announced. They are some of the most prestigious of the Australian book awards and carry a large monetary prize as well. Here are the winners and short listed titles for the youth categories:

CHILDREN’ S LITERATURE WINNER

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Pea Pod Lullaby by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King

 

CHILDREN’ S LITERATURE SHORT LIST

Feathers Figgy Takes the City

Feathers by Phil Cummings and Phil Lesnie
Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin Janu

Hark, It's me, Ruby Lee! Storm whale
Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee! by Lisa Shanahan and Binny Talib
Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan and Jane Tanner

 

YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE WINNER

This is My Song

This is My Song by Richard Yaxley

 

YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE SHORT LIST

Living on Hope Street My Lovely Frankie

Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren
My Lovely Frankie by Judith Clarke

Ruben - Bruce Whatley The Ones That Disappeared
Ruben by Bruce Whatley
The Ones that Disappeared by Zana Fraillon

This Week’s Tweets

Here are the items I shared on Twitter this week:

Giant Library #literature #books #reading #reader #art #drawing #illustration #booklovers #bookart #sofa #cat #librarylove #librarylovers

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

2018 Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Awards – State Library of Ohio

His bestselling book Guess How Much I Love You is only 400 words long but took six months to complete… –

Independent – Something for every bookworm: Top 50 children’s books of the year –

“The magic really comes to life.” Stack Overflow: Get Into the Holiday Spirit With These 7 Picture Books via

Moms start companies to fill demand for Spanish-language children’s books

NYPL’s 2018 Best Books for Kids

School Library Journal’s Top 10 Graphic Novels | 2018

The Story Of Barefoot Books And Its Mission To Nurture Young Readers

This is the most important lesson to teach your child if you want them to succeed

Understanding Immigration and the Refugee Experience through Picture Books

LIBRARIES

Appreciating the ‘powerful good’ of the public library

Denver Public Library nixes overdue fines to increase visits

Should Book Choices Be Private? Harold Washington Library Patron Calls For Change

TEEN LIT

14 Young Adult Authors Reveal Their Favorite YA Books Of The Year

BookRiot – 5 Hugely Underrated Diverse YA Fantasy Books

BookRiot – The Best Queer Books of 2018

Bustle – These Are The 25 YA Books From 2018 That Every Bustle Reader Should Pick Up

In Love With Teen Lit: Remembering The ‘Paperback Crush’ Of The ’80s And ’90s

NYPL’s 2018 Best Books for Teens

Paste’s 30 Best Young Adult Novels of 2018

Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts to Be Adapted for Television

Review: Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (9780316431248)

When Omu makes her thick red stew in her apartment, its delicious smell brings people to her door to discover what she is cooking. One by one, she feeds each of them some of her stew. There is the little boy, the police officer, the hotdog vendor, and many more. By the time Omu has given each of them a bowl, her large pot of stew is empty and there isn’t any left for her own dinner! Someone once again knocks on her door and it is all of the people she fed that day offering their own thanks and food to share with her.

Mora writes with the feel of a traditional tale. On just the first page, there is a cadence that feels immediately familiar and warm. Details are shared in just the right way, then the repetition kicks in, linking this even more with a traditional folktale. Mora has crafted the book with collage pages that combine different mediums. The stew itself is always red and often flowered. The smell wafts across the page in a swath of light-colored haze. Meanwhile, the vibrant urban community is brought to life and abuzz with energy.

A top read-aloud of the year, this picture book should be shared just like red stew. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

Review: Lovely Beasts by Kate Gardner

Lovely Beasts by Kate Gardner

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith (9780062741615)

This nonfiction picture book takes a brief look at a series of different animals and shows an unexpected side to each of them. Fierce gorillas are actually wonderful parents caring deeply and well for their offspring. Fanged wolves when looked at more closely are all about being friends with one another and connecting through their howls. The feared shark is an important part of its ecosystem and food cycle. The porcupine is less about throwing quills and much more about being a shy herbivore. Each animal is labeled with a false impression and then with a turn of the page the more detailed truth of the animal is shared.

Gardner has carefully selected animals that are perceived as something they are not. She wisely shares a mix of features of the animal and corrective facts that offset the false perception. The text is brief enough to make this book a great read aloud to share when exploring animal life. The book ends with a group of female pack leaders of different types and then shows all of the animals in the book together.

The illustrations are particularly lovely. Done in subtle colors and fine lines, the fur of the animals is almost touchable. Each animal is shown both singly on a simple blank background and then again in their habitat.

A beautiful and fresh look at some of the most misunderstood animals in the world. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

2018 Goodreads Choice Awards Winners

The winners of the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced. Here are the youth and teen winners:

BEST OF THE BEST

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

DEBUT AUTHOR

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

 

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

 

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

 

MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S 

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

 

Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (9780062866561)

In the year after the 9/11 attack, Shirin starts yet another new school. At 16, she is in high school and is the only girl in her new school who wears a hijab. Shirin knows what she is in for and comes to school every day braced for both full-faced insults and microaggressions. She tends to ignore everyone, taking advantage of the way her hijab can hide her earbuds so that she can listen to music even in class. But even though she is determined to ignore everyone, people still enter her life. Part of it is her brother starting a breakdancing club that Shirin joins. And then there is Ocean, a white boy who wants to get to know Shirin and can see past her headwear to really see her as a person. But Shirin knows what the world is like and how it will turn against them both if they pursue their feelings for one another. Could the risk be worth it?

Mafi, known for her Shatter Me series, turns to realism and romance in this new book. Her writing is interesting because to make this work for white readers, she has to talk directly about the microaggressions that Shiring experiences and then also about how that makes Shirin feel. Her writing works beautifully and her directness is a strength. Part way through the book, the drama builds alongside the romance into a terrifying mix of love and xenophobia.

The anger of Shirin creates a strong and remarkable heroine. There is no way to read this book without deeply relating to Shirin and her experiences, that includes understanding her fierce defensiveness and rage at the world. Shirin is truly the center of the novel which is a great mix of breakdancing, romance, anger, and defiance. Her relationship with her family is complicated and honest, as is her first romantic relationship. It’s all complicated and wonderfully so.

A fierce heroine faces racism alongside romance in this gripping novel for teens. Appropriate for ages 13-17.

Reviewed from library copy.

Watership Down Trailer

BBC has released the first trailer for their new animated version of Watership Down. It’s a book that my family read aloud again and again during my childhood. This new version is lush and gorgeous with an all-star cast of voice actors. The four-episode series premieres on December 22nd on BBC One.

 

Kirkus Best Young Adult Books of 2018

Kirkus has released another of their best of the year lists. Here are the books selected as their best YA with plenty of great surprises included:

After the Fire After The Shot Drops

After the Fire by Will Hill

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay

And the Ocean Was Our Sky Anger Is a Gift

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai

Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City

An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker

Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose

The Belles (The Belles #1) The Bird and the Blade

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Black Wings Beating (Skybound #1) Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

Black Wings Beating by Alex London

Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner

Blanca & Roja The Book of Pearl

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle

Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu

The Brilliant Death Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin Check, Please!: #Hockey, Vol. 1

Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr’s Assassin by James L. Swanson

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dream Country Driving by Starlight

Dream Country by Shannon Gibney

Driving by Starlight by Anat Deracine

The Fall of Innocence Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico

The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico by David Bowles

Final Draft Fire Song

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones

For Every One The Good Demon

For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)

The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Hey, Kiddo Home and Away

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Home and Away by Candice Montgomery

The House of One Thousand Eyes I Am Still Alive

The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

I, Claudia If Only

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

If Only by Jennifer Gilmore

I'm Afraid of Men Iron River

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

Iron River by Daniel Acosta

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2)

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes Last Pick

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

Last Pick by Jason Walz

Latchkey (Archivist Wasp Saga, #2) Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)

Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

My Brother's Husband, Volume 2 (My Brother's Husband Omnibus, #2) My Name Is Victoria

My Brother’s Husband by Gengorah Tagame

My Name Is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

Notes from My Captivity Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

Notes from My Captivity by Kathy Parks

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Out of the Blue Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto

Picture Us in the Light The Place Between Breaths

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

The Place Between Breaths by An Na

The Poet X Sadie

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Secrets of the Casa Rosada Skyward

Secrets of the Casa Rosada by Alex Temblador

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Starry Eyes The Storyteller (Sea of Ink and Gold, #3)

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

The Storyteller by Traci Chee

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful Summer Bird Blue

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) Tales from the Inner City

The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding

Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road, #1) This Book Betrays My Brother

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

This Book Betrays My Brother by Kasigo Lesego Molope

This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story Troublemakers

This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot

Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye

Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide What the Night Sings

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

When My Heart Joins the Thousand Wildcard (Warcross, #2)

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Your One & Only

Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay

 

Review: Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller

Don't Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller

Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller (9780316562584)

Aria lovers her fluffy, touchable hair but others love it a bit too much for her comfort. It seems like every time she leaves the house, someone is reaching out to feel her hair. She tries going to the ocean to get away from everyone, but even the mermaids want a touch. The same thing happens when she heads to the jungle or the castle. The only place she can find peace is on a deserted island, but she gets too lonely there. When she returns home, Aria figures out the power of setting boundaries and not allowing others to touch her without her permission.

Written in a wonderfully accessible way, this picture book will speak to children who are always having their hair touched, particularly African-American girls who wear their natural hair. The incorporation of whimsical settings makes the entire book feel lighter and a bit playful. The seriousness of being able to say no to others, even adults, is the final part of the book and is handled perfectly with just the right tone. The art in this picture book is bright and friendly. Aria’s hair is depicted in a most touchable way adding to the appeal of the book.

Humor adds a nice touch to this book about the importance of being able to demand respect for your body and hair. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.