There was a mix of the familiar and the new in the recent ABIA (Australian Book Industry Awards) in Sydney this year, as several well-known authors were acknowledged alongside a few newbies.
In the Younger Children category, one of our all-time favourites, Jackie French and illustrator Bruce Whatley won – with Baby Wombat’s Week – a story Jackie says was based on the real life story of her son’s friendship with a wombat when he was a young boy (and we all know how Jackie’s life has been vastly impacted by rogue wombats in, and near, her home). Myfanwy Jones and Spiri Tsintziras won Book of the Year for Older Children for Parlour Games for Modern Families.
While Jackie French has 132 books under her belt, the new(er) comer to these awards is Craig Silvey whose second novel, Jasper Jones, has won the acclaimed The Book of the Year and Literary Fiction Book of the Year at these awards. In his short career, Silvey’s writing has already received many accolades and Jasper Jones has been honoured at least 4 times in the last year.
For more details on the awards, see: http://www.fancygoods.com.au/weekly-book-newsletter/2010/07/01/abia-award-winners/ you can also download the awards list for 2010 and the shortlist from which it was judged at: http://www.publishers.asn.au/awards.cfm?doc_id=27 to see if you agree with the judges.