Fanfare…Competitions…Sparkling lights…Displays…Books lighting up our world…It must be Book Week!
The Book Week winners of 2015 have been announced! The winner of the book of the year for older readers is Claire Zorn’s “The Protected”. This novel covers much in its tightly written pages: a mysterious death that has devastated a family (the circumstances of which are gradually revealed), the main character’s parents, a troubled outsider working through grief with the aid of a kindly counsellor and a nice empathetic boy showing up. The subject matter could lean towards melodrama or predictability, but it doesn’t – Hannah’s voice is genuine, and there’s a real credibility to the story. The emotions of the characters and the family dynamics are written with subtlety, and it’s easy to become absorbed in Hannah’s story as the narrative jumps between the present and the past
The winner of the early childhood award is “Go to Sleep, Jessie!” written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood. This was one of the books used by our senior Early Childhood students in their workshop in the Library during Book Week. Jessie is a baby who cries and won’t go to sleep, much to the disgust of her big sister, Jo, with whom she shares a room. Will nothing make this little one fall asleep? Gleeson tells a deceptively simple tale, but one so richly invested with emotion enhanced by Blackwood’s illustrations with their contrasting palette of colours.
“My Two Blankets” by Irena Kobald is the picture book of the year, a lovely story on belonging and cultural diversity, also illustrated by Freya Blackwood. This story describes how a little girl arrives in a new country, and creates a safe place for herself under an ‘old blanket’ made out of memories and thoughts of home. As time goes on, and with the friendship of another young girl, she begins to weave a new blanket, one of friendship and a renewed sense of belonging. This beautiful book with its lovely extended metaphor would be an excellent supplementary source for HSC English students.
Finally, the “A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land” is the winner of the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. 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. Their sentences, punishments, achievements and suffering make for fascinating reading.
These are just a small sample of the wonderful books available in the Library for students to borrow. So come and see the 2015 display, enter the many competitions open to students, win prizes and keep reading!
Mrs Karen Pentland