Earlier this month, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) released their list of notable books in the lead up to the annual CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

Established in 1946, the awards affirm the quality of some of Australia’s most creative people. Further, they aim to:

  • promote quality literature for young Australians
  • support and encourage a wide range of Australian writers and illustrators of children’s books
  • celebrate contributions to Australian children’s literature.

Here’s a list of the Australian women writers included in the notables list for older readers:

  • In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black
  • Night Swimming by Step Bowe
  • The Things We Promise by JC Burke
  • The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless
  • Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian
  • My Lovely Frankie by Judith Clarke
  • The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett
  • Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood, and Simmone Howell
  • The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon
  • Third Witch by Jackie French
  • Because of You by Pip Harry
  • A Shadow’s Breath by Nicole Hayes
  • The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
  • A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
  • Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer
  • Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
  • The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
  • My Life As A Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

And now for the round up of reviews of young adult fiction by Australian women writers–

P is for Pearl by Eliza Henry-Jones which covers mental health issues, family relationships, and the sense of belonging was a popular read this month. Theresa Smith summed it up as ‘P is for Perfect’:

There’s just so much about this novel that I loved. It’s a novel that makes you really appreciate the importance of being straight with children when it comes to the ugly truth about loved ones. The impulse to protect is strong but the implications of not being transparent can be far reaching.

Claire Holderness agreed:

I can’t express how moved I was by this story, it is one I can see myself rereading just to immerse myself in Eliza Henry-Jones’ words.

The Last Days of Us By Beck Nicholas was another YA read favoured with multiple reviews this month. It follows the story of five teens, one derelict Kombi and a road trip, and is an emotional coming-of-age story.

Michelle from Beauty and Lace said:

Nicholas has written a story that is totally character driven, the dragged out road trip is a wonderful vehicle to take the reader from start to finish but it is the characters who will keep you glued.

Veronica Joy recommends that readers keep tissues nearby!

Alicia’s Tuckerman’s debut novel, If I Tell You was another popular read this month. Pantera Press state Alicia Tuckerman is a driving force for young LGBT voices within Australia and that she was inspired to write her book after finding a lack of YA novels featuring two central lesbian characters. Tien said:

‘…I loved this book for its potential in the LGBTQIA+ community but also for the wider audience. I loved this book for all the feels; the giddiness of first love to the heartbreak of loss.’

Claire Holderness suggests tissues are required given the emotional twists contained in If I Tell You.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald reviewed Unearthed, the latest adventure series by best-selling duo Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, and she warns the book ends on a terrible cliffhanger!

Finally, I reviewed that Australian YA coming-of-age classic, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta and I was disappointed by the harshness of the rating given by the teen book club I host for Centre for Stories here in Perth.

Please keep sharing your reviews, both on the AWW database and over at Facebook in our Love Reading Books by Aussie Women group.

See you at the next round up,


A little about me…

I’m a young adult author and short story writer. A second edition of my debut book, Jenna’s Truth, will be out in April 2018 from Serenity Press.