Posts Tagged ‘Childrens fiction’

drongoes

It’s here, it’s here, my first little Aussie Mate. (And seriously, with a title like Drongoes, what else could it be?)

When the fabulous Dyan Blacklock at Scholastic first asked me if I’d like to write something for their Mates series for newly independent readers, my immediate reaction was hell, yeah – I’m a sheila from Biloela, I live for great Aussie yarns.

And I have to say that writing Drongoes was about as much fun as I’ve had at a keyboard. It took me back to my own early reading discoveries and the thrill of graduating to big kids’ books with proper stories and chapters and everything (just like younger readers will find in Drongoes ;))

Drongoes is out now, so look out for it in Scholastic Book Club in schools. Or if you’re really keen, you can order it by clicking here. 🙂

Love to hear what you think of it.

Can Jack beat arch-enemy Rocket Robson in this year’s cross-country? If only! A heart-warming story of mateship and drongoes, where the real winner isn’t always the first over the line.

A little surprise in my letterbox today.

A crisp, cream-coloured envelope from the Office of the Hon. Simon Crean MP.

Inside, the letterhead thoughtfully centres the words Minister for the Arts under his other accomplishments.

Aaah, the penny plinks. I know what this is  – my publisher entered Dust into the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards – it’s an acknowledgement letting me know that my book didn’t win (which of course, I already knew).

That honour went to fellow Woolshed author Bill Condon in the YA category for his fine novel CONFESSIONS OF A LIAR, THIEF AND FAILED SEX GOD, and to Lorraine Marwood’s Star Jumps in the children’s section.

Then my eyes lock onto the following paragraph:

‘Although only nine works were selected for the children’s fiction short-list, the judging panel felt it appropriate to recommend your book to the Prime Minister and me as a highly commended work. You should be very proud of this recognition for Dust.

Wow. I am. Really.

I had no idea that Dust had made a long list and been Highly Commended in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Thanks for letting me know, Mr Crean, that is awesome news.

Mind you, I also had no idea that it had been entered in the Children’s category, which requires the work to be suitable for children aged 0 to 12 years.

Most of the schools that I know are studying Dust have set it for Years 8 and 9 and older. The CBCA listed it as Notable Book for Older Readers (ie 12 years and over). The NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge 2011 lists it for Years 7-9, but adds the rider “Contains adult themes. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 and above.’

So, not sure how it scraped into the 0-12 years category, but will take any kudos, any way they come.

Thank you, Mr Crean, I really do appreciate you letting me know. 🙂