CBCA announced this morning the Notables List 2016 (also known as the Long-List) for Book Week. I will split books into their nominated sections into different posts to make it easy to find the relevant grade levels. This is a list of books, brief details and summary.
Please note: Most of these summaries are from the publisher websites as I am
yet to read any of them myself and will need to start tracking a copy
down. Stayed tuned for the book reviews to come over the next several
months for a better look at the books.
Book Week 2016 – Australia: Story Country
Book of the Year: Older Readers
Title: In the Skin of a Monster
Author: Kathryn Barker
Summary: Caught in a dreamscape, mistaken for a killer. Will Alice find a way home? Three
years ago, Alice’s identical twin sister took a gun to school and killed seven innocent kids; now Alice wears the same face as a monster. She’s struggling with her identity, and with life in the small Australian town where everyone was touched by the tragedy. Just as Alice thinks things can’t get much worse, she encounters her sister on a deserted highway. But all is not what it seems, and Alice soon discovers that she has stepped into a different reality, a dream world, where she’s trapped with the nightmares of everyone in the community. Here Alice is forced to confront the true impact of everything that happened the day her twin sister took a gun to school . and to reveal her own secret to the boy who hates her most.
Title: Rich & Rare
Author: Paul Collins
Summary: Stories to sink your teeth into…A collector of computer games, a knitting needle ninja, a violin that comes to life, a cat with many names, a love that cannot be bought, a prince who finds a friend, and alien invasion…Welcome to a world of ‘beauty rich and rare’, a world of natural (and unnatural) gifts on every page – from humour to horror, thriller to fantasy – encompassing the past, the present and the future.
Title: The River and the Book
Author: Alison Croggon
Summary: In our village we had two treasures: the River, which was our road and
our god; and the Book, which was our history, our oracle and our soul.
Simbala is a Keeper of the Book, the latest in a long line of women who
can read the Book to find answers to the villagers’ questions. As
developers begin to poison the river on which the villagers rely, the
Book predicts change. But this does not come in the form that they
expect; it is the sympathetic Westerner who comes to the village who
inflicts the greatest damage of all.
Title: The Flywheel
Author: Erin Gough
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Delilah’s crazy life is about to get crazier. Ever since her father took off overseas, she’s been struggling to run the family’s cafe – The Flywheel – without him and survive high school. But after a misjudged crush on one of the cool girls, she’s become the school punchline as well. With all that’s on her plate she barely has time for her favourite distraction – spying on the beautiful Rosa, who dances flamenco at the tapas bar across the road.
Only her best friend Charlie knows how she feels about Rosa, but he has romantic problems of his own. When his plan to win an older woman’s heart goes horribly wrong, Del is the only one who can help Charlie stay out of jail. All this leaves Del grappling with some seriously curly questions. Is it okay to break the law to help a friend? How can a girl tell another girl she likes her without it ending in humiliation and heartbreak? And – the big one – is it ever truly possible to dance in public without falling over?
Title: One True Thing
Author: Nicole Hayes
Summary: When is a secret not a secret? When your whole life is public. Frankie is used to being a politician’s daughter, but with her mum now running for Premier, life’s a whole lot crazier than usual. All Frankie wants is to lose herself in her music. So when her best friend, Kessie, invites a student journo to interview the band, Frankie is less than thrilled.
But Jake’s easy to talk to, and he seems to really like Frankie. That doesn’t stop her from wondering if he’s just after the ultimate scoop, especially when photos surface of Frankie’s mum having a secret rendezvous with a younger man. With her family falling apart around her, Frankie is determined to find out the truth – even if it means losing Jake.
Title: The Pause
Author: John Larkin
Summary: Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for. But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long.
So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all. Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the edge of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. And this makes all the difference. One moment. One pause. One whole new life.
Title: Freedom Ride
Author: Sue Lawson
Summary: Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it’s nothing to do with
him. That’s just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the
summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and
something headed Walgaree’s way will blow things apart. It’s time for
Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.
Title: Talk Under Water
Author: Kathryn Lomer
Summary: Will and Summer meet online and strike up a friendship based on
coincidence. Summer lives in Will’s old hometown, Kettering, a small
Tasmanian coastal community. Summer isn’t telling the whole truth about
herself, but figures it doesn’t matter if they never see each other in
When Will returns to Kettering, the two finally meet and Summer can no
longer hide her secret – she is deaf. Can Summer and Will find a way to
be friends in person even though they speak a completely different
Title: A Single Stone
Author: Meg McKinlay
Summary: Every girl dreams of being part of the line – the chosen seven who
tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more
important. Jena is the leader of the line – strong, respected, reliable.
And – as all girls must be – she is small; her years of training have
seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of the things. And
so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of
stew. Or a first. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena
question everything she has ever known? What happens when moving a
single stone changes everything?
Title: The Beauty is in the Walking
Author: James Maloney
Summary: Jacob O’Leary is entering his final Year 12 term at school in Palmerston, a country town struggling to survive in a changing world. He also has Cerebral Palsy. Thanks to the tireless efforts of his mother he can walk unaided, but people are nonetheless aware of his
This is not what is really bugging Jacob, though. It’s girls. He’s never even kissed one. He sets out to address this and it seems that his secret love, Amy, is eager for a relationship too.
The small town of Palmerston is, however, being stalked by a dark presence: someone is mutilating animals. First a horse, then a pig living on the school’s farm. Two Muslim families have recently arrived in town to help the local abattoir produce Halal meat. When a Muslim boy, Mahmoud, is accused of killing the pig, Jacob takes it on himself
to prove the whole town wrong. But Jacob has never even spoken to Mahmoud, so what is he up to? Is he just being politically correct to please his teachers and new girl, Chloe? Or is this really about Jacob establishing an identity for himself and breaking away from the love and sympathy that has both nurtured and held him back
Title: Newt’s Emerald
Author: Garth Nix
Summary: A Regency romance with magical elements, featuring an eighteen-year-old heroine and a dashing young hero – and a case of mistaken identity.
After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen-year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and is soon caught up in a dangerous adventure where she must risk her life, her reputation…and her heart.
Title: For the Forest of the Bird
Author: Sue Saliba
Summary: A novel about love and the things you can and can’t change.
‘I want to tell you that he’s coming home. . . and it’s going to be like it was before he went away, before everything broke apart.’
Nella waits for the swallows by the creek each spring. It’s a secret vigil she’s followed ever since her father left.
This year she’s going to take him with her . . . but can we ever return to the way things were?
Title: A Small Madness
Author: Diane Touchell
Summary: Rose didn’t tell anyone about it.
She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath.
Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all
of these feelings not show?
She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.
Title: Inbetween Days
Author: Vikki Wakefield
Summary: At seventeen, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She’s dropped out of school. She’s living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she’s in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn’t love her back. She’s stuck in Mobius—a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only
attraction—stuck working in the roadhouse and babysitting her boss’s demented father.
A stranger sets up camp in the forest and the boy next door returns; Jack’s father moves into the shed and her mother steps up her campaign to punish Jack for leaving, too. Trudy’s brilliant façade is cracking and Jack’s only friend, Astrid, has done something unforgivable. Jack is losing everything, including her mind. As she struggles to hold onto the life she thought she wanted, Jack learns that growing up is
complicated—and love might be the biggest mystery of all.
Title: The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex
Author: Gabrielle Williams
Summary: A snappy, witty adventure caper about art, love, death and everything in between.
A rock chick. An artist with attitude. A girl with a past. A party animal.
Four lives collide when one of the world’s most famous paintings is stolen. It’s a mystery that has the nation talking, but while Picasso’s Weeping Woman might be absent from the walls of the National Gallery, in other parts of Melbourne the controversial painting’s presence is being felt by Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny for four very different reasons.
Life, love, art and one giant party intersect in this offbeat comedy about good intentions, unexpected consequences and the irresistible force of true love.
Title: Cloud Wish
Author: Fiona Wood
Summary: For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fell into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she’d eaten too much sugar.
Vân Uoc doesn’t believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas – or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes. But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.