Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Young adult literature

Published by: Penguin Books Australia

Have you heard the one about the guy who lost a grandfather, but found a girlfriend? It's funny. It's also kind of sad. And some of the bits that are sad are also kind of funny (but only if you laugh at that sort of thing).

This is a novel about how comedy unites and divides us.

About the author

Doug MacLeod

Doug MacLeod is an award-winning Melbourne writer of books and TV. 

Recent book The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher, was a Children's Book Council Awards Honour Book in 2012, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Aurealis Awards. The Shiny Guys was shortlisted for the 2013 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards.

He has also written and produced TV shows such as Fast Forward and SeaChange and worked as script editor on three seasons of Kath and Kim.

Judges’ comments

Adam has a major crush on Samantha. He's thirteen, and lives by the beach at the Ponderosa Holiday Cabins, run by his extended family. Samantha is slightly older, very much wiser, and lives at a town nearby.

Adam's grandfather claims to know the funniest joke in the world, and 'anyone who hears it will fall in love with you'. But unfortunately Grandpa dies before he can tell Adam the joke. What follows is a smart, funny-sad story about a family sticking together and the hilarious ups and downs of first love.

These include spontaneous public nakedness, inappropriate laughter at funerals, and a brother plotting to blow up the toilets while his grandmother is in them.

Doug Macleod is a master of domestic comedy which is used to great effect in this breezy laugh-laden story of thirteen year old Adam and his family, friendships and love.