Kelly Canby’s Rodney, Julia Lawrinson’s Maddie in the Middle and Holden Sheppard’s Invisible Boys have all been made Notable books in their respective categories in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards.
Rodney, which is a Notable book in the Picture Book of the Year category, is about a small tortoise with a big dream of being larger, only to find size is all a matter of perspective. Invisible Boys, which is in the Older Readers category, is about three young boys growing up gay in a country town. It won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award in 2018. Maddie in the Middle, which is in the Younger Readers category, asks us if it is ever okay to do the wrong thing for the right reasons.
On her website, Lawrinson said she was utterly delighted to be on the Notables List with her fellow Fremantle Press creators and Western Australians including Meg Caddy, Meg McKinlay, Sally Morgan, Karen Blair, Michael Speechley and Briony Stewart. She said, ‘I am so grateful to Fremantle Press and the CBCA for giving Maddie her chance to shine.’
The CBCA National Chair, Professor Margot Hillel, OAM, said the 2020 Notables List was drawn from 517 entries and that the list was arguably the most diverse award longlist in Australia. She said, ‘Our Notable books are set in small towns and big cities in Australia and overseas. They take us from the ocean to the bush, telling stories of Indigenous, immigrant, disabled, LGBTQI+ and elderly characters. Many were created by “own voice” writers and illustrators.’
Established in 1946, the CBCA Book of the Year Awards are considered to be Australia’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature. The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 31 March 2020 and the winners will be revealed on Friday 21 August 2020. A full list of 2020 CBCA Notable books is available from the CBCA website.