Showing 20 of 912 results, most relevant first.
About the book
When a gentle creature sets out to search for a lost brother we are taken on an ethereal journey across land and sea to strange, beautiful and faraway places. To fantastic, floating cities, and mediaeval towns full of dark alleyways and winding staircases – to vast open grasslands and eerie, silent forests – and eventually to a place of timeless beauty and light. My Brother is a metaphorical picture book story for older children that looks at loss and grief from a sibling’s perspective.
About the author
Dee Huxley studied design and craft at the National Art School, East Sydney. After graduating she taught visual arts in secondary schools in Australia and London. Between 1984 and 2012 she taught Design and Illustration at TAFE Enmore Design Centre, and Life Drawing at NIDA.
A freelance illustrator since 1976, her works include the short-listed CBCA Picture Books of the Year, Mr Nick’s Knitting, Rain Dance and You and Me Our Place, and the 2009 CBCA Honour Book, Tom Tom, written by Rosemary Sullivan. My Brother is the fourth picture book Dee has both written and illustrated.
About the illustrator
I started drawing before I could tie my shoelaces.
I have always loved sketching animals, and drawing strange imaginary creatures - mythical monsters and fantastic beasts - in my sketchbooks.
After closely watching my mother’s successful career as a picture book illustrator and the beautiful books she has done, I spent several years studying both Graphic Design and 3D animation, with the goal of becoming a children’s book illustrator, like her.
During this time I created character for a story I wanted to write about a gentle but strong creature living in an apocalyptic world. My brother Morgan loved this character and kept a tiny canvas of tit on the mantelpiece in his apartment. The creature was never designed to be Morgan, but after his death in tragic and destructive circumstances, this character became the focal point of the story my mother and I decided to dedicate to him.
It was an honour and also a moment of peace to collaborate on this book together with my mother and my sister Tiffany who was the designer.
The book was important for us all. We did not know where Morgan had gone or why. We wanted to try and create a place for him. We wanted to make sense of what was happening around us when there was no sense.
Working on the book gave us gave us a reason to smile, which was hard to do at times. It also gave us hope –and the belief that our story might help a child to find some hope during an equally dark despairing time – when the words, even of loved ones, cannot help.
I am currently working on a book about a chihuahua in Japan, while working nightshifts in a large Swedish company famous for its furniture.
I live in Sydney with my strong willed and very supportive wife, Elizabeth, and my wonderful short haired black Chihuahua Kolo.
This is a moving story about overwhelming grief and loss. Longing for his lost brother, a distressed and lonely creature searches for him. He searches high and low, visiting all their old haunts, both joyful and scary. When his search is unsuccessful the creature is exhausted and lies down to sleep for a while. On waking he senses a new understanding and acceptance of his loss. The use of soft watercolour in the final pages replaces the earlier monochromatic images to reflect the realisation that his brother is not lost. Rather he is everywhere and in every memory.
Beautifully designed, My Brother uses careful placement of well chosen, minimal text, almost stream of consciousness and plenty of white space to create the profound sense of pain and loss. Each detailed image engages us in the search and each can be explored at length and re-visited many times. A tiny donkey gently leads us forward to the next page, leading us to the bitter-sweet realisation and relief that we can learn to live through loss and grief and begin to think about the future. While grief is an intense and personal journey, this book will resonate with older children and adults who have lost someone dear.
About the book
Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries
This is a love story.
It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words.
It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind.
Sometimes you need the poets
About the author
Cath Crowley is a young adult author published in Australia and internationally. She is the author of The Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, and Graffiti Moon. In 2011, Graffiti Moon won the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, the Ethel Turner Award for Young People's Literature, and was named an Honour Book in the Children's Book Council, Book of the Year. Cath lives in Ballarat, Victoria.
In her deeply layered, eloquent exploration of different kinds of love, Cath Crowley celebrates story, the importance of family, the meaning of friendship and the power of words. The story is set in and around Howling Books, an extraordinary second-hand bookshop in Melbourne where readers can scribble margin notes or leave letters in their favourite books in the Letter Library, the heart of the bookshop.
The central characters Rachel Sweetie and Henry Jones are richly drawn through a dual narrative alongside the many letters that tell their complex stories and those of their friends and families. Henry can’t understand why Rachel ceased to be his best friend after she moved to live on the coast with her grandmother. Rachel, profoundly grieving for her brother Cal, can’t understand why Henry didn’t share ‘the last day’ with her after reading her letter. Rachel’s move back to the city marks the beginning of their journey back to friendship. Rachel starts to accept her brother’s death and finds herself again so she can move forward into the future. The imminent sale of the bookshop signals a real crisis of identity for Henry’s family and some of their longstanding friends but may actually emancipate them.
The book has many thoughtful design features that help to engage and extend the reader from the brief fragments of text that precede each chapter to the quotes from well-known novels and poems that remind us of the different meanings individuals bring to their reading of texts, to the explorations of complex concepts (the transmigration of memory, the block universe theory). Words in Deep Blue shows us how deeply words do matter.
About the book
Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he has ever known. But as he grows, his imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories.
The Bone Sparrow is a powerful, heartbreaking, sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.
About the author
Zana Fraillon was born in Melbourne, but spent her early childhood in San Francisco. Zana has written two picture books for young children, a series for middle readers, and a novel for older readers based on research and accounts of survivors of the Forgotten Generation. She spent a year in China teaching English. The Bone Sparrow won the 2017 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children.
Told poignantly and authentically through the naïve lens of the irrepressible nine-year-old Subhi, this powerful story is timely and important.
Subhi has known only one life - behind the razor wires in a detention centre. His world is confined, brutal and with many hardships. He longs to meet his poet father, wishes his mother would have enough energy to tell him her stories of Burma again, dreams of a beautiful Night Sea that brings him treasures, and talks to the wise-cracking Shakespeare duck. With his rebellious friend Eli, Subhi runs “packages” around the camp, a dangerous pursuit.
Jimmie, a young girl who lives near the centre, provides a second narrative voice, with a number of clever parallels to Subhi’s story. Jimmie has her own struggles: she is grieving for her mother and yearns to be able to read. When Jimmie discovers a way into the centre, an unlikely friendship results. Jimmie brings Subhi thermoses of hot chocolate and Subhi reads out Jimmie’s mother’s stories. But tensions are rising in the centre and soon violence erupts and tragedy strikes.
Set against the harshness and brutality of life in the detention centre, The Bone Sparrow celebrates human courage, spirit and imagination; the power of story, especially in our understanding of self; the importance of friendship; and our right to freedom. It is a beautifully written story, deeply layered and with rich imagery and evocative use of language. The motif of the Night Sea is particularly moving and the humour of Subhi’s Shakespeare duck provides some welcome relief to his dire circumstances.
Honest, deeply affecting and thought provoking, The Bone Sparrow is a story that stays with you long after the last page.
About the book
Forgetting Foster, is the powerful story of a young boy whose father develops Alzheimer's disease, from the highly acclaimed author of A Small Madness.
Foster Sumner is seven years old. He likes toy soldiers, tadpole hunting, going to school and the beach. Best of all, he likes listening to his dad's stories.
But then Foster's dad starts forgetting things. No one is too worried at first. Foster and Dad giggle about it. But the forgetting gets worse. And suddenly no one is laughing anymore.
A heartbreaking story about what it means to forget and to be forgotten.
About the author
Dianne Touchell was born and raised in Fremantle, Western Australia. Her debut novel Creepy & Maud (Fremantle Press) was Shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award in 2013 in the Older Readers category. Her second novel, A Small Madness, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2015.
She has worked as a fry cook, a nightclub singer, a housekeeper, a bookseller and manager of a construction company. Sometimes she has time to write books for young adults, who she thinks are far more interesting than grown-ups. She lives with animals.
In a refreshing departure from the self-conscious and sometimes cynically introspective world-view of many young adult book characters, this novel plots the progress of an intensely adult situation from the point-of-view of a child. Seen through the eyes of seven-year-old Foster, the narrative is a naïve, clear-eyed and often brutally candid observation of the cruelty of Alzheimer’s. Foster’s father has always been a lively, charismatic storyteller, but then holes begin to appear in his memory and his behaviour starts to become erratic. Foster valiantly refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the changes in his dad, but is all too conscious of the changes in his mother’s attitude: overworked, over-tired and overwrought, she has little emotional energy left for Foster. Duplicitous family members and neighbours contribute to the emotional wreckage.
This novel is an elegant and agonising portrait of the breakdown and realignment of family configurations, the pressures on friendships, and the spectrum of emotional damage experienced by both child and adult characters. Foster wades through extremes of puzzlement, betrayal, loyalty, mortification, estrangement, rage, guilt, compassion and love. He must navigate the behaviour of the flawed adults in his life, the unthinking childhood cruelty of his classmates, and finds himself battling between filial loyalty and social self-preservation, while clinging hopefully to his father’s brief moments of lucidity. But, in an enigmatic ending, and without fanfare, Foster silently and with gentle finality comes to terms with the inevitable.
About the book
From the multi award-winning author of The Protected and The Sky So Heavy comes a ground-breaking young adult masterpiece about lost young men.
After his mum dies Sam goes to live with the strangers she cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty.
Sam is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim.
About the author
Claire Zorn lives on the south coast of New South Wales with her husband and two small children. Her first young adult novel, The Sky So Heavy, was a CBCA Honour Book for Older Readers and was shortlisted for the Aurealis and Inky Awards. Her second book, The Protected, was the winner of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Young Adult Fiction, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – Young Adult Fiction and CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. One Would Think the Deep is her third book for young adults.
Claire Zorn has created a sensory allegory of grief and rage in One Would Think the Deep. Set in a quintessential beachside community in 1997, Zorn traces Sam’s relocation from the city as he reels, baffled and angry, from the death of his mother. He finds some solace in surfing. His encounters with the waves and the unseen Leviathan monster of the deep become a metaphor for sparring with depression and destruction. His growing mastery of surfing signals a possible outcome of hope and healing. Sam begins a tentative relationship with athletic Gretchen. Another pivotal character is Ruby who challenges the misogyny of surfing culture and whose Aboriginal heritage forms a counterpoint to Sam’s hidden family background. However, the authentic male characters are the heart of the novel, with popular cousin Minty and honourable Jono a foil to smouldering Sam.
Jeff Buckley’s music and “the space between the notes” in his song Grace provide a soundtrack to the era and template for the writing shape and style. The allusive title and epigraph about rousing the Leviathan who “leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair”, comes from the Biblical book of Job, a picture of the suffering that now ensnares Sam. This powerful novel embodies the layered depths of masculine grief and struggle to maturity.
About the book
A powerful, captivating story about Alice, who is reaching out to express herself through her beautiful-broken words, and Manny who is running to escape his past. When they meet, they find the tender beginnings of love and healing.
About the author
Glenda Millard is a highly respected author who writes for children of all ages. Her novel A Small Free Kiss in the Dark was the Winner of the 2009 Queensland Premier's Award for young adults, Honour Book in the 2010 CBCA awards for older readers, shortlisted for the 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and included on the Honour List for the 2012 International Board of Books for Young People. Glenda has also written many picture books, including The Duck and the Darklings, illustrated by Stephen Michael King, which was Winner of the 2016 WA Premier's Literary Awards for children's books.
Alice has been the victim of a traumatic attack by some young men who live in her small town of Oktober Bend. The trauma has left her unable to communicate easily with others and she mostly stays at home. She is, however, a gifted poet and it is largely through these that she communicates with the outside world. Much of what we learn about her as a character comes from her thoughts and poetry.
Into her life comes Manny, a former boy soldier who has also been the victim of trauma. His gentleness and protectiveness, despite all he has suffered, is in stark contrast with the local boys who attacked Alice. He is intrigued by the mysterious, anonymous poet who leaves poems tucked in odd places around the town (such as behind the timetable at the bus stop) and he follows this poetic trail to discover that it is Alice who is writing them. In a sense, the two are the ‘outsiders’ in the town and the friendship they form becomes a turning point for each of them.
The book is written with a dual narrative so we hear alternately from Manny and Alice. Each of these voices is authentic and convincing. Alice’s sections are seamlessly interwoven with her poems and the device adds a richness and complexity to the narrative. There is a cast of peripheral characters who drift in and out of the story and each of them is strongly drawn and convincing. The climactic scene of a flood in the town is dramatic and convincingly realised and allows for the construction of a scene of moving forgiveness when Alice, despite her fear, helps the ringleader of the gang which attacked her. This is a cleverly constructed book with great depth and which is both poignant and profound.