The story behind the stories: CBCA Award winners and Book Week

The story behind the stories: CBCA Award winners and Book Week

Many of us have fond memories of Book Week but do you know the story behind it? There’s a lot more to it than character costumes and parades, most notably the awards which are highly regarded as the most influential awards in Australian children’s literature.

It all started with The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA).

Established in 1945, the Children’s Book Council of Australia was founded at a time when Australian children’s books were few, and Australian authors and illustrators were virtually unknown.  In 1946 the CBCA established annual book awards to promote books of high literary and artistic quality. The awards fostered growth in publishing Australian stories, about Australian lives, told with Australian voices.

The CBCA awards are presented to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. It is not a popularity contest and there is no public voting. A panel of experts selects three types of books:

  1. The notables – highly regarded titles selected from the very long list of entries. Announced on Feb 25 2020. There were over 500 entries! See the list here 
  2. The shortlist – these titles go into the running for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Announced on March 31 2020. See the list here 
  3. The CBCA Book of the Year Awards – there are six categories covering different types of books. Here are the winners for 2020:

BOOK OF THE YEAR: OLDER READERS      This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield, published by Text Publishing

BOOK OF THE YEAR: YOUNGER READERS   The Little Wave by Pip Harry, published by University of Queensland Press

BOOK OF THE YEAR: EARLY CHILDHOOD    My Friend Fred by Frances Watts, illustrated by Ann Yi, published by Allen and Unwin

BOOK OF THE YEAR: PICTURE BOOK   I Need a Parrot by Chris McKimmie, published by Ford Street Publishing

EVE POWNALL AWARD    Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe, published by Magabala Books

CBCA AWARD FOR NEW ILLUSTRATOR   Baby Business illustrated by Jasmine Seymour, published by Magabala Books

Congratulations to all the winners! As Bruce Pascoe said,  these awards are the children’s equivalent of the Miles Franklin Award.

See the full printable list, including honours books here

Each year, across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. This is the part that really engages children through a program of activities in schools and libraries all around the nation. Almost every parent has a Book Week costume story to share: the last-minute panic, the tears and the triumphs!

Throughout the year, the CBCA works in partnership with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and other organisations in the children’s book world to bring words, images and stories into the hearts and minds of children and adults.

Australian children’s literature enriches our nation and reaches children across the world through international editions.

The CBCA Vision: Creating a community that celebrates quality Australian literature for young people.

The CBCA Mission: Promoting and advocating for the sharing of quality literature for young people across Australia. We showcase Australian creators and collaborate widely to foster a love of reading

More info about the 2020 award winners and honour books here

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A Truer History: Q&A with Bruce Pascoe Author of Young Dark Emu

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21 June 2019

A Truer History: Q&A with Bruce Pascoe Author of Young Dark Emu

Synopsis

My friend Fred eats dog food for breakfast. I think dog food is disgusting.My friend Fred howls at the moon. I don't know why.He does a lot of funny things. But even though we are different, Fred is my best friend.

Publisher details

The Little Wave
Author
Pip Harry
Publisher
UQP
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
07 May, 2019

Synopsis

When a Manly school sets out to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit, three very different kids find each other and themselves.Noah is fearless in the surf. Being at the beach makes him feel free. So where does his courage go when his best mate pushes him around?Lottie loves collecting facts about bugs, but she wishes her dad would stop filling their lonely house with junk. She doesn’t know what to do about it.Jack wants to be a cricket star, but first he has to get to school and look after his little sister. Especially if he wants to go on the class trip and see the ocean for the first time.

Synopsis

I have questions I’ve never asked. Worries I’ve never shared. Thoughts that circle and collide and die screaming because they never make it outside my head. Stuff like that, if you let it go—it’s a survival risk.Sixteen-year-old Nate McKee is doing his best to be invisible. He’s worried about a lot of things—how his dad treats Nance and his twin half-brothers; the hydro crop in his bedroom; his reckless friend, Merrick.Nate hangs out at the local youth centre and fills his notebooks with things he can’t say. But when some of his pages are stolen, and his words are graffitied at the centre, Nate realises he has allies. He might be able to make a difference, change his life, and claim his future. Or can he?This is How We Change the Ending is raw and real, funny and heartbreaking—a story about what it takes to fight back when you’re not a hero.

Publisher details

Young Dark Emu
Author
Bruce Pascoe
Publisher
Magabala Books
Genre
Non Fiction
Released
01 June, 2019

Synopsis

Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived — a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu — A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.

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  1. Alexander Myers says:

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