YABBA 2012

The YABBAs have been announced! The winners have been hailed for their brilliance and popularity. And I’m going to tell you all about it.

There are lots of awards around in children’s publishing, but the YABBAs are special. The Young Australian Best Book Awards are entirely nominated and voted on by young people. These awards are not about grown-ups deciding on the worthwhile books that kids should be reading. These awards are about what kids are actually reading and enjoying.

I was lucky enough to be a guest at this year’s awards ceremony, along with lots of other authors and illustrators, including Carole Wilkinson, Gabrielle Wang, Corinne Fenton, Andy Griffiths, Karen Tayleur, Sue Bursztynski, Colin Thompson, Sarah Davis, Felice Arena and Oliver Phommavanh, to name a few.

Seeing the winners announced and the awards presented was great. But what was even better was witnessing the unbridled enthusiasm of the kids in the audience. They were excited about books. They were excited about reading. And that is AWESOME!

But who won? I hear you ask. And so, without further ado, the nominees and winners…

Picture Story Books…

WINNER: Fearless In Love – Colin Thompson / Sarah Davis

Fiction for Younger Readers…

WINNER: Alice Miranda At School – Jacqueline Harvey

Fiction for Older Readers…

WINNER: 13 Storey Treehouse – Andy Griffith / Terry Denton

Fiction for Year 7-9…

WINNER: Phoenix Files: Arrival – Chris Morphew

Congratulations to all the 2012 winners!

Now it’s on to 2013. Schools and students can get involved with the nominating process and voting in next years awards by checking out the YABBA website. The site also includes lots of cool activities and info, including reviews, puzzles and author/illustrator profiles.

Catch ya later,  George

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YABBA 2010

YABBA! What is YABBA, I hear you ask. Well, YABBA stands for Young Australians’ Best Book Award. The awards ceremony was held earlier today and I was lucky enough to attend.

YABBA is an annual set of awards for kids’ books that is nominated for and voted on by kids. So, unlike many other awards for which finalists and winners are chosen by ‘adult experts’, these awards are a better indication of what kids actually like to read. Also, unlike most awards that are restricted to books published during the previous year, with YABBA, kids can nominate any Australian children’s book that has been published in the previous ten years.

Established in 1985, YABBA is a not-for-profit organisation run by a volunteer committee. And this year was their 25th Anniversary. This special awards ceremony was a HUGE event, hosted by the Williamstown campus of the Bayside P-12 College. In addition to the hundreds of kids who attended, guest authors and illustrators included Carole Wilkinson, Deborah Abela, Sarah Davis, Corinne Fenton, Terry Denton, Andy Griffiths, Leigh Hobbs, Jackie Kerin (in above photo), Morris Lurie, Claire Saxby, Craig Smith and Celeste Walters. Oh yeah, and me too. 🙂 Each of us got the chance to speak at the ceremony on the topic of “My favourite character – unmasked”, and then after the ceremony we participated in a signing event. It was LOTS OF FUN!

There were four awards presented. Rather than just list the winners, I’ll give you the full shortlist for each category, as all these books deserve some recognition.

Section 1 Picture Storybooks

Section 2 Fiction for Younger Readers

Section 3 Fiction for Older Readers

Fiction for Years 7-9

Congratulations to the winners and to all those on the shortlist.

Somehow, I just can’t imagine a book called Farticus Maximus ever making the shortlist for an Australian Children’s Book Council Award. So I reckon it’s pretty terrific that we have a set of awards where kids can nominate and vote for what they are actually having fun reading.

For more info about the awards, check out the YABBA website.

Tune in next time for a blog about blogging.

Catch ya later,  George

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