Archive for the ‘Henry Hoey Hobson’ Category

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So tell me, whaddaya think of the new look Henry Hoey Hobson?

Penguin Random House has shouted my adored middle child a brand new jacket and I couldn’t be happier.

‘Henry is an in-house favourite,’ says my lovely publisher Zoe Walton. ‘We wanted to give him a fresh new look that’s fun and grabs young readers’ attention.’

So brace yourself young readers, the rejacketed Henry Hoey Hobson is heading your way soon. Look for him in bookstores from 1 March. 🙂

(Cover design by Christa Moffitt of Christabella Designs, who also designed covers for fellow Random House award winners Two Wolves and Are You Seeing Me?)

 

Sending air kisses into the ether – mmwa – to everyone who voted for Dust and Henry Hoey Hobson in THE BIG READ celebrating stories set in Queensland.

Thanks to you, they’ve both come in winners – Dust for Older Readers, and Henry Hoey Hobson in the Younger Readers category.

Saturday’s announcement at the State Library of Queensland by Book Links Qld as part of the National Year of Reading was a great way to end Book Week …and an every better kickstart to Literacy Week (oh yes, the big weeks just keep on rolling for we wranglers of words).

Tomorrow I’m off to Calvary Christian College, and then on to All Hallows and Mt Alvernia later in the week to talk books and writing to secondary students.

And for Brisbane lovers of picture books, please feel free to drop by Riverbend Books at 5pm on Tuesday 28 August for the launch of Gus Gordon’s gorgeous Herman and Rosie. We’d love to see you there. 🙂

You know that old cliche “Never in my wildest dreams”?

Well, I never say that.

Because as we all know, good writers avoid cliches like the plague…and in my wildest dreams, I’m usually fighting a one-woman guerrilla war against Columbian drug lords, or facing down a serial killer threatening a library full of school children or –

OK, so I  like my dreams to have exciting plot lines. But I like to keep them real too….

So never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever write the following words….

I just made a list with David Malouf!


No, honestly, I did. Truly. I’m not even lying.

You can click here if you don’t believe me. And here.

And here.

See, I told you!

Thanks to the good folks from Book Links (QLD) and their brilliant Big Read idea, everyone will get a chance over the next few months to vote on their favourite Queensland book for young people.

I’m still giddy with excitement. Who would have thunk Henry Hoey Hobson and Dust would both get a guernsey?

The only problem with making a list with David Malouf, Nick Earls, Michael Gerard Bauer, and all those other incredibly talented writers, is that you can bet your bottom dollar that just about everyone will be voting for one of them.

So Mum, if you’re reading this, there’s one little thing I need you to do for me….

Just click on this link here … and let your conscience be your guide.

No pressure.

lots of love from your only daughter ever

Chrissy xx

What is it about the power of three?

ABC

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Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub
Hewie, Dewie and Louie
The three little pigs
The Three Musketeers

And now, Henry Hoey Hobson.

Three ordinary little words that, slung together, have somehow made a whole, greater than the sum of its parts.

Twelve months after being launched into the world, Henry Hoey Hobson has  made his third literary shortlist.

I will be forever grateful to the good folk in at the Children’s Book Council of Australia and the WA Premier’s Book Awards, but it was today’s announcement by the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards that made me cry.

Queensland is my home state. As an unpublished author, I have sent unpublishable manuscripts into the Qld Premier’s Literary Awards and dreamed impossible dreams – one of which, today, actually came true.

In the spirit of Henry Hoey Hobson and the Rule of Three (whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned three-fold), I’d like to celebrate all writers who face the blank page and aren’t cowed by it with this wonderful post by the author of Six Impossible Things, Fiona Wood.

Please click here – and Congratulations for turning up at the page.

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I take my hat off to the real judges of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

Not just because they short-listed my Henry Hoey Hobson For Book of the Year for Younger Readers (though, let’s be honest, I LOVE them for that), but because they do such a difficult job, for little pay or thanks.

As a Qld Clayton’s judge, I managed to read less than half of the 95 books entered in the Older Readers category of this year’s Children’s Book Council Awards.

(Though in my own defence, I was given less than a month to do the job – thank the high heavens I’d already read ten before they asked me!)

The real judges read more than 400 books across four categories and then had to nut out Notables and Shortlists in each.

I enjoyed picking my Clayton’s Notable Books for Older Readers (the twenty-plus books that I thought were just terrific last year), but really struggled to decide the final six.

In the end it was a teenager’s plea that swayed me: “Pick some books that we might love, instead of the ones that oldies like you love.”

He had a point; I’m not 15 anymore. So in trying to be true to both myself and the intended audience, I went with the following six books because I loved them AND I couldn’t wait to press them into the hands of teenage readers.

Cath Crowley – Graffiti Moon

A lyrical, beautifully-crafted novel told seamlessly through three voices: Ed, a functionally illiterate high-school drop-out who moonlights as the mysterious graffiti artist Shadow; Lucy Dervish, the smitten teenager who is determined to track Shadow down; and Poet, the edgy wordsmith who is Shadow’s partner-in-crime.

The action unfolds over a single night at the end of Year Twelve, bringing to life the street art of Melbourne and illuminating the lives of its teenage protagonists.  An invigorating read that proves art and poetry are definitely not too cool for school.

Anthony Eaton – Daywards.

This final instalment in Eaton’s Darklands Trilogy completes a landmark undertaking in Australian speculative fiction writing.

The landscape is evocatively Australian, a thousand years into a dystopian future, where the only hope for a dying world lies in the bloodlines of the few surviving descendants of its oldest inhabitants.

Dara, her brother Jaran, and cousin Eyna are ‘viable” members of their hunter-gatherer clan. With clan elder Ma Saria,  the children flee the invading Nightpeople, by walking Daywards, into the deadly sunlight.

In their fight for survival, the children’s spiritual connection to the land is their only defence and greatest weapon against the technologically-driven survivors of the doomed Sky Cities.

This is political writing in the best tradition of science fiction, pitting a spiritual affinity with the land against the transgressions of technology and the contamination of nature.

While Daywards can be read as a stand-alone novel, this trilogy has been ten years in the making and cries out to be introduced to a new generation of readers.

AJ Betts – Wavelength

Oliver’s world has shrunk to the point where he can’t see past the 80 percent he needs to get into Uni with his mates.

But the study break he takes away from the noise and distraction of his Mum’s crunchy muffin business turns sour 300 kilometres from home.

He lands at the Sunny Haven Old People’s home without text books, clothes, phone, or money. The only person anywhere near his age hates him, nobody is on his wavelength, and his chances of achieving the all-important 80 percent seem to have disappeared with his luggage.

But somehow, between the incorrigible elderly and the girl he can’t impress, he learns what no text book can teach: life is long, choices are infinite, and there is always time to change your mind….

A must-read for teens stressing out over OPs and HSCs.

Cassandra Golds – The Three Loves of Persimmon

The shy and solitary Persimmon Polidori is an unlikely rebel.

Cast out by her family for favouring the frivolity of flowers over a more respectable career in vegetables, she labours alone, dreaming of love, in her heart-shaped florist shop on the top level of a vast underground railway station.

Five levels below, under the railway line to Platform One, a tiny mouse called Epiphany dreams of a world free of the rattle and screech of trains arriving and departing at six minute intervals.

They embark on their separate quests,  not knowing that they are destined to meet in a life-changing encounter that will win them their hearts’ desires.

An exquisitely layered tale that will appeal to girls who appreciate the magical in life and reading.

Fiona Wood – Six Impossible Things

Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill (pronounced surreal) has lost everything.

His family is bankrupt, his dad gay, his Mum is sabotaging her own wedding cake business by talking potential customers out of getting married, the new house is freezing, the new school a living hell, and then there’s the impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door.

Dan sorts the whole unspeakable mess into something quantifiable; to make his life better he needs to achieve just six impossible things.

Fortunately, Dan Cereill is an anagram for Cinderella…And yes, there is a climactic dance scene, a midnight curfew, and unexpected helpers who come out of the woodwork to save Dan’s adorable dorky hide.

This fresh and funny reversal-of-fortune story about love and loneliness in Year 10 is perfect for early-to-mid secondary schoolers with undeniable appeal for older readers as well.

Melina Marchetta – The Piper’s Son

This stunning stand-alone book picks up the lives of a group of friends from Saving Francesca. It’s five years down the track, and this time it’s Tom Mackee who needs saving.

Tom has lost his way, seeking oblivion through drink and drugs. Trying to forget the London bombing that claimed his uncle’s life, trying to survive without the friends he has pushed away and a family torn apart by grief, alcoholism and loss.

His journey back from the edge is a heart-wrenching read, leavened with a warm humour and lovingly crafted by an author who understands the flaws and strengths of family and friendship, and how they weave a safety net capable of saving us all.  Powerful and unforgettable, for mature readers.

And that’s my six. No doubt they will differ from your six in various important ways – and so they should. As Kate Grenville once wrote “Each of us brings our own experiences, memories and prejudices to a work of art and looks at it through that unique lens. We all read the same words…but we all see different things.’

[This is an abridged version of the talk I gave to celebrate the Qld CBCA Shortlist announcement at St Aiden’s College on April 12. Please click here for a full list of CBCA Notable and Short Listed Books in the 2011 Book of the Year Awards.]

Funny, what inspires us as writers.

I’ve never been much of a swimmer myself. I can manage a stately breast stroke in a flowered bathing cap, but it just isn’t my thing, if you know what I mean.

I grew up on a farm, in the middle of a drought, and was ten years old before our gully filled for the first time.

I nearly drowned in the Biloela pool in primary school, trying to swim its breadth with my eyes squeezed shut against the unfamiliar chemicals. I listed to the right  and ended up swimming an elongated dog’s leg before finally touching, exhausted, at the deep end.

Infrequent trips to the placid waters of Yeppoon and Tannum Sands didn’t teach me that much. Though I remember the excitement of my brother nearly drowning and afterwards discovering a tiny fish, still alive, in his Speedos.

It surprises me still that I grew up to marry a man with salt water in his veins, a man who is grounded in water. It surprises me even more that our children can swim and that I loved them enough to spend a large chunk of the past 18 years poolside.

But what surprises me the most is how much I’ve grown to love the friendships and sense of community surrounding our little neighbourhood swim club.

For the past nine years, every Spring and Summer, we’ve put out the lane ropes on a Saturday afternoon, gossiped with our friends and cheered our littlies on as they strove for personal best times in their races against the stop watch.

Dozens of trophies crowd our kids’ shelves including one for “Most Attentive and Best Behaved” and another for “The Esther Williams Award for Best Technique”.

My own trophy shelf is bare, but for one – awarded for debating, in 1977 – until now.

Because now I too have a swimming trophy. Awarded last Saturday at my last Swim Club meeting after nine fun-filled years. My youngest is moving on, so we will too, leaving the Club to the up-and-coming young families.

They’ll miss me on the megaphone, they say. I know I’ll miss them. But I’ll have something special to remember them by ….

My first ever swimming trophy and farewell gift with an inscription that reads “love KGASC”…

And I do.

Because without all those Saturdays poolside with the Kelvin Grove Amateur Swim Club, I would never have written my children’s novel Henry Hoey Hobson about a boy who nearly drowns in the turbulent waters of Year Seven.

So thanks KGASC for the inspiration. It’s funny where we writers find it, isn’t it?

A huge thank you to all the hard-working librarians who have chosen Henry Hoey Hobson for this year’s Readers Cup.

Five regions so far – Brisbane South, Brisbane Bayside, Gold Coast, Capricornia and Somerset/Lockyer – have put HHH on the list of books to be read in their regional competitions in June. Other regions will be declaring their lists in the coming weeks, so fingers crossed!

I’m really looking forward to presenting the cups and medallions to regional finalists in June  and being part of the State Finals to be held in conjunction with the Ipswich Literature Festival in September.

The Readers Cup promotes the love of literature to students in Years 6/7 and 8/9, so if your school hasn’t yet signed up, click here to register. You have until the end of March to join the cool kids. 🙂