As I was sitting in a specialist’s office, getting a fungal infection vacuumed out of my ear (whilst watching the entire disgusting affair via ear-cam on a large flat screen TV), the REAL shortlist was being announced. It is the second of these two events that I’m excited about. I actually could have done without the fungus.
REAL stands for Reading & Enjoying Australian Literature. This shortlist is nominated by kids across Australia. Then the shortlist is used for three state-based awards — The YABBAs (Young Australians Best Book Awards) in Victoria; the KOALAs (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards) in NSW; and the KROCs (Kids Reading Oz Choice) in the Northern Territory.
Last year, You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove made the REAL shortlist and then won a YABBA. So it is super exciting to be back for a second year in a row, with You Choose: Alien Invaders From Beyond the Stars making this year’s shortlist in the category of Fiction for Younger Readers.
[insert lots of shouting and high-fiving and happy dancing]
To the kids of Australia, I say: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
I am excited and flattered and honoured to be among the amazing books on this year’s shortlist. The other books in the Fiction for Younger Readers category are:
- Alice-Miranda at Camp, Jacqueline Harvey
- Billie B Brown: The Second Best Friend, Sally Rippin & Aki Fukuoka
- Diary of a Track and Field Titan, Shamini Flint & Sally Heinrich
- Don’t Look Now: Book 4, Paul Jennings & Andrew Weldon
- EJ Spy School: Puppy Alert!, Susannah McFarlane & Dyani Stagg
- Ella and Olivia: Sports Carnival, Yvette Poshoglian & Danielle McDonald
- Ghost Club 2: The Haunted School, Deborah Abela
- The Bad Guys Episode 1, Aaron Blabey
- The Vanilla Slice Kid, Adam Wallace & Jack Wodhams & Tom Gittus
Check out the full list for each category and go read some books.