CBCA’s National Chair and Reading Time Reviewer, Margot Hillel, share her favourite books of the past year….
This is an intriguing novel, complex and challenging. It has an interesting narrative structure and it is very much at the upper end of the YA range.It needs to be used sensitively as it covers a variety of topics which some readers might find disturbing.
A moving story of friendship and courage. Subhi is a refugee who only knows life behind fences. Into his world comes Jimmie, a wild kind of a girl who knows how to get into the camp. It is a first-person narrative, from Subhi’s point-of-view, which gives the story an immediacy. It is also, despite the subject matter, a story of hope and a story which asks all readers to ‘walk a mile in another person’s shoes’.
This is a wonderful tribute to one of our most distinguished illustrators who was this year awarded the CBCA Lifetime Achievement Award. The book is lavishly illustrated and gives the reader an understanding of the breadth of Ingpen’s contribution to children’s literature. It is a book for dipping into, leaving open on the coffee table at one of the beautiful illustrations, and for using as a reference book.
I love the compassion of this book and the strength of the relationship between the two main characters. It is beautifully written and interweaves the past and present so well. It evokes so strongly how what happens to us as a child can affect the way we are, even as old people.
A bit more about Margot Hillel…
Margot Hillel has wide involvement in the field of children’s and young adult literature. She has been National President of the CBCA and President of the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research. Her research interests focus on constructions of childhood in children’s literature, and the history of children’s literature. She is on the editorial boards of a number of international journals, reviews widely, has published extensively in her field and has an OAM for services to children’s literature. She is currently the National Chair of The Children’s Book Council of Australia.