AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK COUNCIL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS 1965 – 2015 


This is a list of Australian books that have won awards and are currently in print. When no books are mentioned for a particular year, then the winning books are no longer available. The names of a number of the Awards have changed over the years and additional Awards have been included. This is not a complete list of all the winning titles, just those back to the 1960s. For a complete list of all Award winners (including those that are out of print), check out the Children’s Book Council of Australia website www.cbca.org.au  


Winners of the Book of the Year Award: Older Readers
Please Note: These books may be for mature readers

2015 The Protected by Claire Zorn pb 9780702250194 $19.95
'The Protected' is the story of a family coming to terms with grief and guilt. Hannah's older sister Katie has died in a car crash, her mother has almost completely shut down and her father, still suffering from his own injuries from the crash, blames himself even though he doesn't recall the details of the accident. Hannah moves from psychologist to psychologist, in a half-awake state herself, she's cut herself off from her friends and shows no interest in anything. She is haunted by her sister, or perhaps by her sister's absence. It's a heart-break of a novel but beautifully and gently written. Claire Zorn's previous YA novel 'The Sky so Heavy' was also CBCA and Inky award shortlisted. (14-17 years)

2014 Wildlife by Fiona Wood pb 9781742612317 $16.99
There is something extraordinarily genuine about Fiona Wood's teenagers. She manages to convey the deep awkwardness and the, at times, over-whelming emotion of young adults. In 'Wildlife' sixteen year old Sibylla has just had her face on a billboard thanks to her fashion mogul aunt, and now her school is spending a term in the wilderness. Sibylla is dealing with a sudden new popularity, new love and a new friend, Lou from Wood’s earlier novel 'Six Impossible Things'. While Sibylla tries to maintain friendships, Lou is slowly coming to grips with her grief. Both these titles are beautifully written and heart-felt. It's easy to see why Fiona Wood is constantly being nominated for awards. She is exceptional. (15-adults)

2013 Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan pb 9781742375052 $19.99
On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock - the men, the women, the children - once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing? (15- adults)

2012 The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner pb 9781742373843 $19.99
Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can't explain, and memories he can't recover. Death doesn't scare him - his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn't discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up. (15+)

2011 The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett pb 9780143504887 $16.99
A fable which looks at life through the perplexed and frightened eyes of two orphaned Romani children and the caged, talking animals in an abandoned zoo. (12 – adults).

2010 Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen pb 9780143010043 $19.95
Marc Jarvis is an engaging character. He is a worrier who finds getting organized difficult and is always losing things. A convincing and entertaining story about new friendships and the complications of peoples’ lives. (13 – 17 years)

2009 Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan hardback 9781741149173 $35.00
This book contains fifteen very short stories in which Shaun Tan explores the experience of growing up in the Australian suburbs. Through these quirky stories and unusual illustrations, he explores the mysteries lurking just below the surface of suburban life. (12+)

2008 The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett pb 9780143011880 $19.99
Judges from around the world love Sonya Hartnett’s work as she has been awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to children’s literature. In this book, an old woman Matilda recounts the story of her life to a young boy. I wonder sometimes how many children or young adults appreciate her books. (12+)

2007 Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan pb 9781741146578 $17.95
Margo Lanagan’s beautifully written, otherworldly stories are loved by judges and she wins many awards. However I am not sure how many students will appreciate these highly original, often disturbing stories. (14+)

2006 The Story of Tom Brennan by J. C. Burke pb 9781741660920 $17.99
Tom Brennan’s older brother causes a car accident in which two of his close friends are killed and his cousin becomes a quadriplegic. This is the very moving and believable story of Tom Brennan’s struggle to come to terms with the accident, its effect on his close family and on Tom’s identity. (14+)

2005 The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer pb 9781742990422 $19.99
A story about the relationship between a young teenage artist and a reclusive and disturbed neighbour who was a Vietnam veteran. (13+)

2004 Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta pb 9780143000976 $19.95
Francesca is reluctantly starting Year 11 at an all boys’ school which is for the first time taking in Year 11 girls. This is a warm realistic novel which explores the influence of this influx of girls on the culture of this previously all boys’ school. (13 +)

2003 The Messenger by Marcus Zusak pb 9781742613598 $16.99 
This is a most unusual book. When Ed Kennedy inadvertently stops a bank robbery his life changes dramatically. (13+)

2001 Wolf on the Fold by Judith Clarke pb 9781865087962 $17.95
Six beautifully written evocative stories cover three generations of a family. Each of the stories deals in some way with fear. It is a powerful and moving book. (11+)

2000 48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earls pb 9780143005933 $19.99
A very funny book which describes Dan in his final year at school as he endeavours to cope with calculus and to disguise his total lack of home survival skills while sharing a house with two young women who are at University. (14+)

1999 Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne pb 9780141300498 $19.95
Blacky’s growing friendship with an Aboriginal Aussie Rules football player is the focus of this book while the narrowness and pervasive racism of an Australian country town and Blacky’s first love are also described with a wicked sense of humour. (13+)

1997 A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove by James Moloney pb 9780702236280 $19.95
Carl Matt seems dogged by failure but through his determination and some good friends he is able to turn things round. A complex moving novel. (13+)

1996 Pagan's Vows by Catherine Jinks pb 9781741752335 $17.99
Roland and Pagan take monastic vows but as corruption becomes exposed in the monastery, the story develops into a highly exciting medieval thriller. (11+)

1994 The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody pb 9780140360592 $19.99
A gripping fantasy novel about a group of teenagers who fight to prevent the inhabitants of Cheshunt from being overwhelmed by an ancient evil. (12+)

1993 Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta pb 9780140360462 $19.95
It has been a bestseller with adolescents and adults because of its vitality and exuberance. Josephine is Australian, of Italian background in her final school year. (13+)

1991 Strange Objects by Gary Crew pb 9780733617942 $16.99
An unusual psychological thriller which uses diary entries, newspaper clippings etc to tell the story. (14 +)

1988 So Much to Tell You by John Marsden pb 9780734413291 $15.99
Written in diary form, this is the story of a girl who has been so traumatised that she refuses to speak aloud. It was John Marsden's first novel. (12 - 16 years)

1981 Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park pb 9780140314601 $16.95
An excellent time-slip story in which Abigail finds herself in the old Rocks area of Sydney in the 1870s. (11 - 14 years)

1979 The Plum-Rain Scroll by Ruth Manley pb 9780702235054 $19.95
Exciting and heroic fantasy set in Old Japan. (11+)

1974 The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson pb 9780702236839 $19.95
A beautifully written story which attempts to incorporate something of the spirituality of Aboriginal traditions in a modern day Australian setting. (9+)

1965 Pastures of the Blue Crane by Hesba Brinsmead pb 9780702234620 $19.95
This is a much loved story of family life set in the lush subtropics of northern NSW. (11+)

1961 Tangara by Nan Chauncy pb 9780702236105 $19.95
A moving time-slip story set in Tasmania. It is regarded as a classic and is part-fantasy, part history, and through the friendship of two girls reveals terrible secrets of the relations between early settlers and the Indigenous peoples. (11 – 15 years)

1952 The Australia Book by Eve Pownall, illus by Margaret Senior hardback 9781742030418 $34.99
This classic book telling the story of Australia was reprinted in 2008. (11+)

Winner Book the Year: Younger Readers

2015 The Cleo Stories: The Necklace & The Present by Libby Gleeson hb 9781743315279 $16.99
Cleo desperately wants a necklace. Her parents say special presents are only for birthdays, but Cleo doesn't want to wait. In the second story, it's her mum's birthday and Cleo doesn't know what to give her - until she has the best idea of all. Delightful, warm and irresistible, these stories show how a little girl with a big imagination can always find a way to have fun. (6-10 years)

2014 City of Orphans: A Very Unusual Pursuit by Catherine Jinks pb 9781743313060 $14.99
Monsters have been infesting London's dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That's why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs so that Alfred can kill them. One life-changing day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Sarah Pickles runs a local gang of pickpockets, three of whom have disappeared. Edith Eames is an educated lady who's studying the mythical beasts of English folklore. Both of them threaten the only life Birdie's ever known. But Birdie soon realises she needs Miss Eames' help to save her master, defeat Sarah Pickles, and vanquish an altogether nastier villain. (9-15 years)

2013 The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett hb 9780670076130 $24.99
Three children have been sent to live in the countryside, safe from the war in London. When they find two boys hiding in a castle, the past and future come together to make an extraordinary adventure. A hauntingly beautiful story from one of Australia's most acclaimed writers for adults and children. (10-15 years)

2012 Crow Country by Kate Constable pb 9781742373959 $15.99
Sadie isn't thrilled when her mother drags her from the city to live in the country town of Boort. But soon she starts making connections - connections with the country, with the past, with two boys, Lachie and Walter, and, most surprisingly, with the ever-present crows. When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them? (10-15 years)

2011 The Red Wind (Kingdom of the Lost Book #1) by Isobelle Carmody pb 9780143306863 $16.95
This post-apocalyptic fantasy is a tale of courage and compassion involving two strange furry creatures, brothers Zluty and Bily. (9 – 12 years).

2010 Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch pb 9781741757163 $15.95
Another quirky, whimsical and charming story from a master storyteller. (10 – 13 years)

2009 Perry Angel’s Suitcase by Glenda Millard illus by Stephen Michael King pb 9780733322556 $14.95
This is the third book in the Kingdom of Silk series about the Silk family. It is a moving story about a foster child called Perry who finds love and acceptance with the Silks. He also gains the confidence to be himself. (7 – 9 years)

2008 Dragon Moon by Carole Wilkinson pb 9781742032474 $19.95
Dragon Moon is the highly successful conclusion to the Dragonkeeper trilogy. Set in Ancient China, the books link Chinese history and culture with a marvellous fantasy land revolving around dragons, their lore and their stories. (8 – 14 years)

2007 Being Bee by Catherine Bateson pb 9780702235665 $16.95
This is a heart-warming story about a girl called Bee who is having problems adapting to her father’s new girlfriend. (8 – 10 years)

2006 Helicopter Man by Elizabeth Fensham pb 9780747575498 $14.95
This book depicts the pain and bewilderment of a 12 year old boy as his father insists they must keep on shifting to escape from an ever-increasing threat of danger. The boy learns that his father has a mental illness and things gradually improve as his father’s health becomes more stable. (9 - 13 years)

2005 The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett pb 9780143301578 $19.99
Set in France during the Second World War, two sisters discover in the woods near their house a soldier blinded by the war. They bring him food and in exchange he tells them wonderful stories of his home in England. (8 - 11 years)

2004 Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson pb 9781742032450 $19.95
An intriguing fantasy novel set in Ancient China where a slave girl saves the life of an aging dragon and together they make an epic journey across China. (8-14 years)

2003 Rain May and Captain Daniel by Catherine Bateson pb 9780702233371 $16.95
Rain is the narrator for most of the story, describing how she and her mother start a new life in the country. There she meets Daniel, an unusually intelligent, chess-loving boy who has a rough time at school. (9 - 13 years)

2001 Two Hands Together by Diana Kidd pb 9780141307480 $17.99
Ella is confused when her father seems to object to her growing friendship with a warm and friendly Aboriginal family. A well-told sensitive story which is also a positive statement for reconciliation. (8 – 12 years)

2000 Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French pb 9780207198014 $15.99
An absorbing thought-provoking book about the power of story and the nature of evil. Can the children be blamed if a parent does something terrible? (9 – 14)

1999 My Girragundji by Meme McDonald & Boori Pryor pb 9781864488180 $14.95
An engaging story about a young Aboriginal boy who finds the powerful spirit of his pet frog helps him overcome his fears of the Hairyman and of bullies at school. (8 - 13)

1998 Someone Like Me by Elaine Forrestal pb 9780140380927 $16.95
Tas gets into a lot of trouble for an ordinary kid. Why do certain kids pick on him and why does he react so fiercely? An absorbing well written story. (7 - 11 years)

1997 Hannah Plus One by Libby Gleeson illus Ann James pb 9780140380903 $ 14.95
Hannah is certain her mother will have another set of twins leaving her the odd one out. An engaging story. (6 - 9 years)

1996 Swashbuckler by James Moloney pb 9780702228254 $16.95
Peter takes on these heroic swashbuckling roles with determination but there is sadness and humour in the reason why. (8 - 11 years)

1995 Ark in the Park by Wendy Orr pb 9780207176333 $11.95
A bit of magic makes this a charming story for young readers. (7+)

1994 Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda pb 9781862916357 $15.99
An absorbing story which contains many of the elements of traditional fantasy - the quest, the dragon and obstacles like misty swamps. (8 - 11 years)

Winners of the Junior Book of the Year Award

1991 Finders Keepers by Emily Rodda pb 9781862918221 $16.99
An amusing fantasy story involving computer games. (8 - 11 years)

1990 Pigs and Honey by Jeanie Adams pb 9781862910508 $10.99
When an Aboriginal family from the Aurukun community in the far north of Australia decides to go bush for a day or two, they hunt wild pigs and other bush food. At night they eat roast pig and listen to stories. (8+)

1989 The Best-Kept Secret by Emily Rodda pb 9780207167058 $14.95
A novel about moving house and growing up. (9+)

1988 My Place by Nadia Wheatley pb 9781921150654 $19.95
By moving backwards in decades from 1988, this picture book shows how a particular neighbourhood in Sydney has changed from an urban street to the first white settlement and before to the time when the Australian Aboriginals lived there. The story is told through the eyes of the various children who lived there. (7 - 14 years)

1987 Pigs Might Fly by Emily Rodda pb 9780207187261 $14.95
An amusing fantasy. (8 - 11 years)

1985 Something Special by Emily Rodda pb 9780207186516 $14.95
A simple story about a young girl who finds something special among the clothes for the stall. (8+)


Winners of the Book of the Year: Early Childhood (Picture Books)

2015 Go To Sleep, Jessie! by Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood (illus) hb 9781742977805 $24.95 
 If only Jessie would lie down. If only she would go to sleep. But nothing will settle her ...except maybe a little sisterly know-how. (4-7 years)

2014 The Swap by Jan Ormerod & Andrew Joyner (illus) hb 9781921541414 $24.95
Caroline Crocodile's baby brother dribbles. But all Mama Crocodile EVER says is how GORGEOUS he is. Caroline is VERY jealous. So she goes to the Baby Shop and tries to swap her dribbly brother for a new baby. The trouble is, there's something not quite right with any of them... (4-7 years)

2013 The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen & Freya Blackwood (illus) pb 9781862919624 $15.99 
 It’s the first day of school and all the children have a special backpack, except one - she has a terrible suitcase. A story about how imagination can make magic out of anything. (5- 7 years)

2012 The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland & Freya Blackwood (illus) pb 9781741698909 $14.99
Lucy shares the hug with everyone in her family. Along the way it becomes softer, sleepier, bigger, even peanut-buttery. But when the hug runs away, Lucy discovers that it's not so easy to get back. Nationally and internationally-bestselling picture book creators Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood have come together for the first time with this gentle, charming story that is sure to become a classic with families. (4-7 years)

2011 Maudie and Bear by Jan Ormerod & Freya Blackwood (illus) hb 9781921541407 $29.95 
 This picture book contains five related stories about the rather spoilt and precocious three-year-old Maudie and her rather large (in Maudie’s imagination) companion, Bear. (4 – 6 years).

2010 Bear & Chook by the Sea by Lisa Shanahan & Emma Quay (illus) pb 9780734411112 $16.99 
Bear and Chook are the best of friends so when Bear decides he just has to visit the sea, Chook goes too. An appealing and reassuring book about friendship. (3+)

2009 How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham hb 9781406307160 $29.95 pb 9781406325492 $16.95
The text is minimal and the illustrations are so full of contrast and emotion. The city is full of skyscrapers and high up a small bird flies into the glass and falls to the ground and a young boy picks it up and cares for it. (4 – 8 years)

2008 Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey pb 9780143503071 $16.99
Pearl Barley is loud and loves to talk, while Charlie Parsley is quiet and shy. They are very different from each other but are good friends and help each other when the other feels down. The illustrations are zany and rather curious but add a distinctive and original character to the book. A book about the power of friendship. (5 – 8 years)

2007 Amy & Louis by Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood (illus) pb 9781865049366 $15.99
A simply written and poignant story about the close friendship of two children who lived next door to each other and who are bereft when Amy moves away with her family to the other side of the world. Beautiful illustrations by Freya Blackburn. (5+)

2006 Annie's Chair by Deborah Niland pb 9780143501985 $14.99
Annie has a very special chair that no one else is allowed to sit in. The only exception is for Benny the dog but only, says Annie, if they sit in the chair together! (4+)

2005 Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek (illus) hb 9780670041497 $19.99
This is a simple quirky rhythmical exploration of sheep of many different types and colours. (1+)

2004 Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen pb 9780143501312 $14.99
Grandpa and Thomas spend a delightful day at the beach enjoying each other’s company as they paddle, picnic and feed the screeching seagulls. (4+)

2003 A Year on Our Farm by Penny Matthews & Andrew McLean (illus) pb 9781862914926 $15.99  
A wonderful exploration of a year on an Australian farm. Seen through the eyes of three children who live on the farm and help their parents with many farm jobs. (5+)

2002 "Let’s get a Pup!" by Bob Graham pb 9781406308518 $16.95
A delightful story about a zany family who decide to get a pup from the Dog Rescue Centre and come home with Dave, a bouncy puppy and Rosy, an old homely dog. (4+)

Winners of the Picture Book of the Year Award

2015 My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood (illus) hb 9781921714764 $24.95
Cartwheel has arrived in a new country, and feels the loss of all she’s ever known. She creates a safe place for herself under an ‘old blanket’ made out of memories and thoughts of home. As time goes on, Cartwheel begins to weave a new blanket, one of friendship and a renewed sense of belonging. It is different from the old blanket, but it is eventually just as warm and familiar. (5-8 years)

2014 Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan hb 9780734410672 $24.99
‘Rules of Summer’, is a deceptively simple story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of rules that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside. Yet through each exquisite illustration of this nearly wordless narrative, we can enjoy wandering around an emotional landscape that is oddly familiar to us all. Shaun Tan draws upon his own personal experiences with a surreal snapshot of fishing adventures with his older brother, leaving a sock on the clothes line, and buildings inspired by Brunswick and greater Melbourne. As you venture deep into the story, these poetic images become darker, more mysterious and unsettling, drawing towards a redemptive ending that affirms the depth of true friendship, a bond that is equally wonderful and inexplicable. For older readers. (8- adults)

2013 The Coat by Julie Hunt & Ron Brooks (illus) pb 9781741146059 $29.99
The Coat stood in a paddock at the end of a row of strawberries. It was buttoned up tight and stuffed full of straw and it was angry. 'What a waste of me!' it yelled. Then along came a man. 'I could do with a coat like that,' the man said. Together, swooping and swinging, they travelled to the Cafe Delitzia, and had the night of their lives. A bold and original picture book. (7- 12 years)

2012 A Bus called Heaven by Bob Graham hb 9781406334197 $27.95 pb 9781406343717 $16.95
A broken, old bus appears one morning, sad as a whale on a beach, right outside Stella's house. On the front of it, held up with packing tape, is a hand painted sign... "Heaven". For Stella, this decrepit old vehicle is special -this bus is "ours" - a place for everyone to be together: hold meetings, play games and share stories. But one day, the bus is towed away and Stella must fight to save not just the bus, but everything the community has worked so hard to create. (5-12 years)

2011 Joint Winners
Mirror by Jeannie Baker hb 9781406309140 $39.95
There are two stories in this book. We are shown a day in the life of two boys and their families; one in inner Sydney and the other in a remote village in Morocco. The landscapes are very different and also their clothes and their houses, but in the way the families care for each other they are essentially the same; a mirror image of each other. . (8 – 15 years).
Hamlet by Nikki Greenberg hb 9781741756425 $49.99
Having this book in the Picture Book category is misleading as it is actually a graphic novel of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Whilst the text remains true to Shakespeare, the illustrative interpretation is most unusual and very dramatic. It would make a great classroom study of comparative texts. (13+ years).

2010 The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers hb 9781741145243 $29.99
This is a delightfully expressive textless picture book. Escaping from some bullies, the Boy finds himself in an Art Gallery and he and a little dog find themselves in the streets of Delft in the time of Vermeer. (6 – 10 years)

2009 Collecting Colour by Kylie Dunstan pb 9780734411181 $16.99
One day Rose goes with her best friend Olive and Olive’s mother to collect pandanus leaves and stringy bark and colour for dyeing to make beautiful coloured baskets, mats and bags from the leaves in the traditional way of the Indigenous peoples. The illustrations are strongly influenced by Aboriginal art but they are also strikingly original, especially in the design of the colourful pages and the use of collage. (6 – 13 years)

2008 Requiem for a Beast by Matt Ottley hardback 9780734407962 $39.99
This is a very sophisticated and very ambitious project. It is definitely for upper secondary students. It would be of interest for those exploring sophisticated picture books since it incorporates paintings, graphics, cartoons, and also music (a CD comes with the book.) Ottley uses his experience of working as a jackaroo on cattle stations while telling a story about a young jackaroo who observes terrible wrongs done to Aboriginal peoples. I have many difficulties in connecting with this book. (15 years up)

2007 The Arrival by Shaun Tan hb 9780734406941 $29.99 pb 9780734415868 $19.99
This extraordinary book is textless and depicts many strange things and a world that we do not understand and yet at the same time, the book is not difficult to understand. It shows the experience of an immigrant when he or she comes to a country where they know no one and understand very little. Shaun Tan wants us to understand the feelings of apprehension as a young man leaves his young wife and daughter and his country to travel a vast distance to a completely different country where he can’t speak the language or read any signs. The illustrations are meticulously drawn in detailed panels of illustrations or sometimes full-page illustrations in black and white or various shades of grey and sepia. It is a very evocative and moving book (9 years to adult)

2006 The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley by Colin Thompson & Amy Lissiat (illus) pb 9780733621673 $16.99 
Humans are rarely satisfied with their lot in life whereas Riley the rat is born happy. He lives a short but happy rat’s life. (7 – 10 years)

2005 Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia by Alison Lester hb 9780670880676 $24.95 
 Eight year old Grace describes the trip her family took around Australia by campervan. They visited many important tourist spots and also friends and relatives round Australia. (6 - 11 years)

2004 Cat and Fish by Joan Grant & Neil Curtis (illus) pb 9780734408105 $16.99
Striking black and white illustrations feature in this simply written story about Cat and Fish who meet each other and show each other their very different worlds. (6 - 9 years)

2003 In Flanders Field by Norman Jorgensen & Brian Harrison-Lever (illus) pb 9781920731038 $16.99 
Realistic illustrations depict this story of a young soldier in the trenches of World War 1 who risks his life to save a robin, trapped between the German and Australian lines. (8 – 10 years)

2001 Fox by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks hb 9781742373195 $27.99 pb 9781864489330 $15.95 
This highly acclaimed beautifully illustrated book is a moral fable about the friendship between Dog and Magpie. A story of friendship, freedom and loyalty. (7 +)

1999 The Rabbits by John Marsden & Shaun Tan (illus) hb 9780734410788 $28.99 pb 9780734411365 $17.99 
 A sophisticated allegory for older readers. A simple text and beautiful illustrations show the damage to the land, environment and the original inhabitants caused by invaders (rabbits? or humans?) (11 +)

1998 The Two Bullies by Junko Morimoto pb 9780091834722 $16.99
Striking illustrations using both traditional and modern elements of style give this Japanese tale of boasting and trickery a wonderful exuberance. (5 – 10 years)

1995 The Watertower by Gary Crew & Steven Woolman (illus) pb 9781863743204 $17.95 
 There is a growing sense of menace, of an alien threat in this picture book for sophisticated readers. Stunning illustrations. (9 – 13 years)

1992 Window by Jeannie Baker hb 9780744596762 $29.95 pb 9780744594867 $16.95 Big Book 9780744594874 $44.95 
 This collage book has an environmental theme as the view from the window changes over time. (6 – 14 years)

1991 Greetings from Sandy Beach by Bob Graham pb 9780850915211 $16.99
Very amusing portrait of a family camping trip to the beach. (6 – 9 years)

1990 Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten by Bob Graham pb 9780744598292 $16.95
A delightful story of young children befriending a fierce old man. (6 – 9 years)

1989 The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base pb 9780140541489 $19.95
This is a wondrously complex feast and game all in one. (8 – 12 years)

1984 Bertie and the Bear by Pamela Allen pb 9780140509724 $14.99
Rhythm and repetition and bold illustrations make this an appealing book. (3 – 6 years)

1983 Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen pb 9780140509403 $14.99
Which of the animals sank the boat? Appealing story making use of a science concept. (4 – 7 years
)

1978 John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner & Ron Brooks pb 9780140503067 $14.99 
 A subtle story about love and possessiveness. (6 – 9 years)

1976 The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey pb 9780207174339 $14.99
A beautifully told and illustrated well known Dreamtime story. (3+)

1974 The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek by Jenny Wagner & Ron Brooks (illus) pb 9780140501261 $14.95 
 
A classic with marvellous text and illustrations. The bunyip stirs from the billabong but doesn't know who he is and none of the animals or people that he meets are much help. (5 – 9 years)

1971 Waltzing Matilda (text A B Paterson) pb 9780207170980 $14.99 This well loved traditional poem and song is beautifully illustrated by Desmond Digby. (6 years up)

Winner Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

2015 A-Z of Convicts in Van Dieman’s Land by Simon Barnard hb 9781922079343 $45
Seventy-three thousand convicts were transported to the British penal colony of Van Diemen's Land in the first half of the nineteenth century. They played a vital role in the building of the settlements, as well as the running of the newly established colony. Simon Barnard's A - Z of Convicts in Van Diemen's Land is a rich and compelling account of the lives of the men, women and children who were transported to Tasmania for crimes ranging from stealing bread to poisoning family members. It includes their sentences, punishments, and achievements. It is fully illustrated with carefully drawn meticulous detail from contemporary records. Please be aware: Although this title is directed toward upper primary it does contain some of the harsh realities of life in a penal colony, such as punishments (flogging etc) and a paragraph on prostitution. (9- 13 years)

2014 Jeremy by Chris Faille & Danny Snell (illus) hb 9781921504402 $24.99 pb 9781921504501 $14.99
When tiny Jeremy falls out of his nest and is brought home by the family cat, he is only a few days old. Luckily, Jeremy is a fighter and as the weeks go by he grows stronger and stronger, until the time comes when he must say goodbye. (4-8 years)

2013 Tom the Outback Mailman by Kristin Weidenbach & Timothy Ide (illus) pb 9780734412249 $28.99
Based on her bestselling book, MAILMAN OF THE BIRDSVILLE TRACK, Kristin Weidenbach has written a lively, engaging version for younger readers, capturing the humour, excitement and ingenuity of a classic slice of Australia’s fast-vanishing history. (6+)

2012 One Small Island: The Story of Macquarie Island by Alison Lester & Coral Tulloch hb 9780670072361 $29.99
Macquarie Island lies in the Southern Ocean, between Antarctica and New Zealand. A speck of green in the vast, windswept sea, it is a haven for many creatures that live above and below the waves. In One Small Island, Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch bring us the story of this remote and precious World Heritage Site. Together they explore the island's unique geological beginnings, discovery and degradation at the hands of humans, and the battle to restore it today. This beautifully presented book leaves us with an important question: can Macquarie Island and places like it be saved? (6+)

2011 Return of the Word Spy by Ursula Dubosarsky & Tohby Riddle (illus) pb 9780143306146 $17.99
The Word Spy is back, leading us on further adventures into the world of language, ranging over such diverse subjects as language families, grammar, gestures and both spoken and written forms of communication. The style is accessible, humourous and engaging, enlivened by a smattering of Tohby Riddle’s illustrations. (12 – 15 years)

2010 Australian Backyard Explorer by Peter Macinnis pb 9780642276841 $29.95
This is a fascinating book with a detailed look at explorers in Australia. Filled with illustrations and paintings of the period and also many photos and journal extracts, there are also many interesting activities and projects that students can undertake in their own backyard. (10 +)

2009 Alive in the Death Zone by Lincoln Hall (now called Dead Lucky) pb 9781741667363 $19.99 
Lincoln Hall was the climber who on descending from the peak of Mount Everest, collapsed on the mountain and was left for dead by his climbing team. Amazingly he survived the night and was helped down the mountain the next day. This is the gripping description of that amazing event. (12 +)

2008 Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books by Frances Watts & David Legge (illus) pb 9780733332906 $16.99 
Parsley Rabbit is the lively narrator who describes all sorts of books. The innovative use of flaps helps add interest to his enthusiastic talk about books. It will be a good introduction to help young children talk about the books they love. (5 – 7 years)

2006 Scarecrow Army: The ANZACS at Gallipoli by Leon Davidson pb 9781876372606 $18.99 
 A detailed account of the ANZACS, soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, during the military campaign at Galipolli. The point of view of the Turkish soldiers who were defending their country is also given. (12 - 14 years)

2005 To the moon and back: The Amazing Australians at the Forefront of Space Travel Plus Fantastic Moon Facts by Bryan Sullivan with Jackie French & Gus Gordon (illus) pb 9780207200090 $14.95 
Bryan Sullivan’s enthusiasm for space travel shows in this story when he helped track the numerous Apollo space voyages to the moon. (8 - 12 years)

2002 Papunya School Book of Country & History by Papunya School Publishing Committee pb 9781865085258 $16.95 
This book shows the history of the Papunya region in the centre of Australia through the eyes of the staff and students. This is a marvellous account from an Aboriginal viewpoint in an innovative collage format, vibrant with drawings, paintings, maps and painted photographs. (9 +) 

1993 Tjarany Roughtail: The Dreaming of the Roughtail lizard and other Stories by Gracie Greene, Joe Tramacchi and Lucille Gill pb 9781875641307 $17.95 
Combines traditional stories with stunning art in the traditional style with information on Aboriginal culture and language. (6+)