A winning speech

Husni & Hugo wrote this awards speech for their favourite book, even though it didn’t win!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to celebrate and reveal the CBCA award for 2021. Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the other shortlisted books for making it this far and encourage all of you to give them a read. They are all fantastic, and even if they did not get the most votes, they are still very well written novels.

Now to reveal the winner of the CBCA 2021 award… The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst!

This fantastical novel won first place for a few reasons. Firstly, it was really the only shortlisted book to have otherworldly components, and that is a staple of storytelling. Reading is an escape from normal life, and what better way to do this than to travel to another world? Secondly, this book was plotted better than all the other shortlisted books put together. There were so many components to the story, but everything still happened for a reason. There were no loose ends left untied by the end, and the story managed to weave itself together incredibly well. Thirdly, this book was relatable to our lives. Despite being a fantasy with magic, monsters and more, this book still managed to have relatable real-world components, such as the main characters life in school and how she deals with the stress of comparing to her sisters. I’m sure we can all relate to that, right? Just by reading a few pages, you can tell very easily how much effort the author has put into the book.

All these reasons put together really show why this book won the CBCA children’s book award, and it was very well deserved. I’d like to congratulate the author, Moriarty on achieving such a wonderful goal!

Worse Things: a visual perspective

I did my creative response to point out the differences in all the four children in this book. They have a phew things in common, but they have special hobbies, traits or backgrounds that point out their individuality. This book was a great novel to read and was laid out beautifully. I have never read a book written like this, but it was good to read something new and it was great. The creative piece that I did was a painting/drawing of the four kid’s main things happening to them and them all connecting by a tree.

Morgan, St Paul’s Grammar

A Letter to Katrina Nannestad

Dear Katrina Nannestad,

I read your book ‘We Are Wolves’ and loved it. It was a very up and down story and I liked the way you wrote it, as it was written accurately to who the narrator is. There was never a dull moment with those three kids, which I liked. It was just the perfect balance of emotional and exciting I found myself becoming very attached to the characters. Your description of Liesl, Otto, Mia, and their mother when they hear the ice crack from beneath them while they are travelling on it is incredible, and I was gritting my teeth and biting my nails in fear for them. I felt sympathy for Liesl especially, because she was forced to take care of her siblings while mourning the loss of her mother. I liked the way her innocence stayed with her the whole book, while she also matured and became more of a parental figure to her younger siblings. My favourite part was by far the bit when Liesl and her siblings find the abandoned house, filled with food. They are so excited by this, it made me smile myself! I voted for ‘We Are Wolves’ because it was the book that connected with me the most. I felt almost every emotion while reading it, and I genuinely enjoyed the whole thing. It is one of the best, most well written books about the Holocaust I’ve ever read. Thank you for writing it!

Kind Regards,

Anoushka 

St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School

St Joseph’s College puts the Older Reader category in focus

Take a moment to listen to the Year 7 Book Club members from St Joseph College Mildura give their verdicts on some of the the novels selected in the Older Reader category. The group really enjoyed being included in the judging process and in this short video they give some insight into their favourites.

Worse Things – Mount Martha

Shadow Judges at Mount Martha Primary school were given a choice of 10 reading response tasks to complete after reading the shortlisted texts. The responses were designed to be shared with the wider school community in the hope that they would promote interest and borrowing of the Younger Readers shortlist.

When responding to the texts, shadow judges were asked to share their opinion about the text, identify devices used by the author and respond to the specific CBCA judging criteria.
Due to the extended lockdown experienced in Victoria, our shadow judges undertook their tasks and took photos of their completed projects at home. We hope to share their work with the school community when we are back onsite.

Using a style that represents the illustrations and symbols in the book, Raph chose to illustrate a visual summary of Worse Things. His use of weather symbolises change for the characters.

Addi replicating the structure of Worse Things by writing her response to the text and characters as a poem.

We Are Wolves – Mount Martha PS

Shadow judges at Mount Martha Primary school were given a choice of 10 reading response tasks to complete after reading the shortlisted texts. The responses were designed to be shared with the wider school community in the hope that they would promote interest and borrowing of the Younger Readers shortlist.

When responding to the texts, shadow judges were asked to share their opinion about the text, identify devices used by the author and respond to the specific CBCA judging criteria.

Due to the extended lockdown experienced in Victoria, our shadow judges undertook their tasks and took photos of their completed projects at home. We hope to share their work with the school community when we are back onsite.

Ava and Zoe responded to We are Wolves. Zoe was inspired to undertake further research on the author and on WWII as the setting of the book. You can find her ideas here …

Ava chose to respond to We are Wolves by writing a letter to the Grade 6 teachers, using the judging criteria to help her convince the teachers to purchase the text for Year 6 Literature Circles. You can see her letter here …

Dear Mrs Giles,

As you know I am included in our school’s CBCA shadow judging group. I am writing to you to talk about our literacy circle books. I deeply enjoy literacy circles – and love books – but I found that I can’t get as involved with the discussions due to my dislike of some books, but they’re not quite my style, know what I mean? As good as they are, I have found something even better.

‘We are Wolves’ by Katrina Nannestad is one of the six shortlisted books (for this topic) in Australia, and is truly amazing. I already know that many children in grade six will adore the book because of many things, but one thing will really put it over the edge, and that is the genre/topic. It is a historical fiction and based around world war two. It is a first person perspective, coming from 11 year old Liesl who lives in East Prussia, Germany. She and her two siblings are escaping East Prussia before the Russians invade along with Mama, Oma and Opa. Though the children lose all of them along the way and are forced to survive on their own… They live wild, live like wolves, which brings me to my favourite quote from the book.

As we went to bed I did not remind Mia and Otto that we are not wild.

That we are not wolves.

Because sometimes it’s good to be wild.

Sometimes you have to be wild.

 Of course there is much more to a book than just the happenings! Let’s dig deeper, shall we?

First we have literary merit. The language is very descriptive and has the occasional simile. The words are definitely high vocabulary level and I assume that our grade will know most of the words included in the story. I know that this book would make a great movie as it has so many twists and turns, an intriguing topic and the happenings within are one of a kind.

Moving onto cohesiveness. The style of the writing is, as I said before, a first person point of view. This certainly adds to the story as it shows what a child our age would think and do in these situations. 

The book flows smoothly through chapters, phrases and thoughts. Every chapter (or paragraph) is generally about something different, although it is not wildly different – every new thought is somehow linked or passed down from the last.

Handing it over to appeal. I, personally, loved this book. As you probably already know we were given two weeks to read this book. In fact, I was so wrapped up in the story that I finished with a handful of days to spare! Unfortunately for literacy circles we can only read a specific part, which could prove difficult. I know that we are amongst an age group absolutely perfect for this book. I think that it is meant for children between ages 10 and 13.

I would also recommend this book to my dad (though he is probably a bit old for it, he is so interested in the topic), my brother (who is also into things about world war one and two) and the people that read ‘Once’ for the last literacy circles. 

Next we have the very important quality. One thing that really sets this book apart from others is the fact that it is a hard copy with a captivating illustration on the front. The words are set out well on the page – nobody will have trouble figuring out what order to read the words in, what the text shows, etc. 

I found absolutely nothing that needed to be edited. All words were used and spelt correctly, the punctuation was better than accurate…

The chapters are set out perfectly. They are clearly marked and used properly. Although, they follow a similar format. Many chapters end in cliffhangers and following chapters will solve that problem from the last one.

Anytime a new day or completely new topic occurs (without being a new chapter) a small icon of a couple of leaves is placed in between paragraphs.

Finally, we have reached originality. I have never read a book like this before and seriously doubt that anyone else has. Yes, I do know that there are many books on the topic of World War Two but I can guarantee you that none are like this because it is from a childrens’ view. I found that it was easy to predict incorrectly as I have done a few times while reading. 

Some books are so basic that you almost feel like you’ve heard of the story before. If you read ‘We are Wolves’ every part, no, every sentence will be new and never-done-before.

There you have it, Mrs Giles. I hope that you agree with me now; I am absolutely certain that this book will be a fantastic read for grade six in the upcoming literacy circles. Please consider discussing with the other teachers of our grade and get them on board with purchasing some of these books. Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Ava M

Cloudburst – a Mount Martha view

Shadow judges at Mount Martha Primary school were given a choice of 10 reading response tasks to complete after reading the shortlisted texts. The responses were designed to be shared with the wider school community in the hope that they would promote interest and borrowing of the Younger Readers shortlist.

When responding to the texts, shadow judges were asked to share their opinion about the text, identify devices used by the author and respond to the specific CBCA judging criteria.
Due to the extended lockdown experienced in Victoria, our shadow judges undertook their tasks and took photos of their completed projects at home. We hope to share their work with the school community when we are back onsite.

Hugo and Camryn both responded to The Prince of Cloudburst. Hugo chose to draw a visual summary of the text, whereas Camryn created a library display and shelf-talker to encourage her peers to borrow the book, using colour, symbols and mixed media to portray the devices used by the author in her display.

The Book of Chance – Mount Martha

Shadow judges at Mount Martha Primary school were given a choice of 10 reading response tasks to complete after reading the shortlisted texts. The responses were designed to be shared with the wider school community in the hope that they would promote interest and borrowing of the Younger Readers shortlist.

When responding to the texts, shadow judges were asked to share their opinion about the text, identify devices used by the author and respond to the specific CBCA judging criteria.

Due to the extended lockdown experienced in Victoria, our shadow judges undertook their tasks and took photos of their completed projects at home. We hope to share their work with the school community when we are back onsite.

Isabella chose to respond to The Book of Chance by creating a cereal box review, which includes a list of characters in the form of a word search and an ingredient list to convey the emotions invoked by the plot and writing devices.

Bindi – Mount Martha PS responds

Shadow Judges at Mount Martha Primary school were given a choice of 10 reading response tasks to complete after reading the shortlisted texts. The responses were designed to be shared with the wider school community in the hope that they would promote interest and borrowing of the Younger Readers shortlist.

When responding to the texts, shadow judges were asked to share their opinion about the text, identify devices used by the author and respond to the specific CBCA judging criteria.

Due to the extended lockdown experienced in Victoria, our shadow judges undertook their tasks and took photos of their completed projects at home. We hope to share their work with the school community when we are back onsite.

Josh, Scarlett and Amelie chose to respond to Bindi. Amelie wrote a review for her response, while Scarlett responded to Bindi by creating a 3D visual summary of the book, using the language from the text to help her recreate the setting. You can find them just here …

Josh chose to respond to Bindi by writing a letter to the Grade 6 teachers requesting that it be purchased as a text for Literature Circles. Josh wrote a convincing letter using examples from the text to demonstrate the structure, language and themes of the book. You can read his letter here …