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Open Right

It’s always brilliant seeing authors and illustrators within the Booked Out stable flourishing, and the lovely Lucinda Gifford is doing just that. We are very excited that Lucinda’s next book – which is not even published until November – Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas, (Scholastic) has already been selected by ALIA for National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) 2020!

Marking 20 years of NSS, the 2020 event will take place on Wednesday, 27 May as part of Library and Information Week, which runs from 25–29 May. We are hoping the 2020 National Simultaneous Storytime will break this year’s record which had more  than 1.1 million people participating across more than 11,000 locations (including readers in New Zealand, Thailand, UK, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and had 1 in 28 people in Australia reading simultaneously.

Are your students doing the Premiers’ Reading Challenge this year?

The 2019 Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open! This is a fantastic initiative to get kids reading. Since the challenge first began in 2005, more than 2.8 million students have read nearly 48 million books!

See some of our fantastic Booked Out authors – Adrian Beck, Felice Arena, and Gabrielle Wang answer a few ‘would you rather’ questions in the video below, and to register in the reading challenge, click here.

Booked Out is very excited to be representing acclaimed poet, author and performer Steven Herrick for school visits Australia wide in 2020 and beyond.

Steven Herrick is one of Australia’s most popular poets for children and teenagers. His books have twice won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and have been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Award on eight occasions. His verse-novel ‘the simple gift’ has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and is regularly set as a text in high schools.

In 2020, Steven is touring Victoria in Term One; Queensland in Term Two; and NSW in Term Three. He is also available for school bookings in Sydney at any time throughout the year. Please enquire now for further information about booking a tour date in 2020.

Recently, Steven’s latest novel The Bogan Mondrian was shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards – read more here.

While he’ll always be a household name in Australia, Steven is also highly acclaimed internationally  – in fact, his verse novel for young adults, by the river, has just won the Catholic Book of the Year in Germany. by the river has also been shortlisted for the German Youth Literature Prize for 2019.

Tour dates will be in hot demand, so please call us now on 03 9824 0177 to ensure your school secures your place!

Today, the 2019 Davitt Awards shortlist have been released, celebrating the best Australian crime fiction written by women. With 127 books assessed in total, the shortlist reflects an exciting and varied number of crime titles out today.

We are so happy for our speakers who are represented across the Young Adult, Non-fiction and Children’s categories. What an incredible array of engrossing, mysterious and tense titles!

Young Adult Crime Novels

Children’s Crime Novels

Non-fiction Crime Books and Debut Books

To read the full press release please click here.

We are so pleased that NAIDOC Week has finally arrived. We are firm believers in elevating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples voices, building towards a future of recognition, reform and respect.

NAIDOC Week is a critical time to acknowledge and work towards significant and permanent change, encouraging social action, law reform and always increasing first peoples education within schools and libraries.

Our nightstands are currently playing host to indigenous speakers and titles, including Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia (ed. Anita Heiss), Nona and Me (Clare Atkins), and Calypso Summer (Jared Thomas).

Sovereignty has never been ceded.

One illustrator on our minds this afternoon is the breathtaking Elise Hurst, whose CBCA shortlisted title Girl On Wire addresses resilience, bravery and doing what needs to be done. Elise still has availability left in Book Week, and her illustration workshops for primary and junior secondary perfect building blocks for students keen to know how to pair illustrations and text.

Booked Out speakers R.A. Spratt and Oliver Phommavanh have been featured in the Sydney Morning Herald after appearing at the Children’s Book Council of Australia conference on the weekend.

In the feature article, R.A. and Oliver explain how they got into writing kids’ books, how and why they use humour in their stories, and why funny books are perfect for connecting kids to reading and writing.

Read more over at the Sydney Morning Herald, and you can enquire about booking R.A. Spratt or Oliver Phommavanh to visit your school or library here.

Happy National Reconciliation Week.

National Reconciliation Week is celebrated each year from 27 May to 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision.

This years’ reconciliation week theme is Grounded in Truth, Walk Together in Courage.”

Booked Out acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Wurundjeri land we work on, and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

To find out more about how you can get involved, visit the reconciliation website here.

Booked Out extends a huge congratulations to Robert Newton on the new release of PROMISE ME HAPPY! Our copy is already in high demand.

Readings Review by Mike Shuttleworth:

Melbourne writer Robert Newton is well known to teenage readers. His colourful novel Runner, about a boy caught up in Squizzy Taylor’s 1920s underworld, is a staple of early secondary reading lists. More recently, When We Were Two garnered the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction.

Authenticity, integrity and humour are the hallmarks of Newton’s novels and these qualities are on full display in Promise Me Happy. On being released from juvenile detention, teenager Nate goes to live with a distant relative in the small coastal town of Oyster Bay.

Shaking off his past isn’t easy – he was in for a violent robbery – but there is more generosity than judgment in this world and Nate is determined to stay on good footing. But it’s when Nate meets local girl Gem (‘She turns around when she hears me, and it’s like someone’s knocked the wind out of me’), life takes a new turn, and it doesn’t lead where you might expect.

Newton populates this laidback fishing town with some devastatingly charming characters, not least Nate’s crusty bachelor Uncle Mick and the irrepressible Henry, a jack-in-the-box kid who brings instant sunshine to the page. And there’s a local gang who want to test Nate’s temper to see just how tough he is.

Tender, funny and freighted with heartache, Promise Me Happy ensures that Robert Newton will remain a fixture for Australian readers now and in years to come. Highly recommended for readers aged 13+.

At Booked Out, we love keeping things fresh. We’re always on the lookout new speakers who are in tune with readers and current social issues. We are thrilled to announce our newest speakers:

ELLA HOLCOMBE: Author of The House on the Mountain, a gently told, beautifully illustrated account of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires from a child’s perspective. Ella loves to share her own stories of growing up in the bush, as well as her family’s current rebuilding process in Kinglake.

LEE KOFMAN: Author and editor of seven books. Her most recent book, the critically acclaimed memoir Imperfect, tells her story of growing up while suffering anguish about her body that was severely scarred during multiple childhood surgeries, and later in life raising a child with albinism. Drawing on Lee’s experience and research, Imperfect also explores how we can live a fulfilled life in an ‘imperfect’ body.

JENNA GUILLAUME: A lively and engaging author and journalist with a passion for empowering young people – and having a lot of fun along the way. She loves to talk about things like body image, social media and online toxicity, the intersection of feminism and pop culture, digital media, mental health and self-love.

NEIL GRANT: In 2009, Neil travelled to Afghanistan to gather material for a book on asylum seekers, a journey that changed his life; The Ink Bridge was published in 2012. His newest release, The Honeyman and the Hunter is based partly in India – the birthplace of his mother and a wonderful exploration of dual heritage, cultural identity, family and the power of storytelling.

SUMAYA HARARE: Coming to Australia at the age of 7 with her family as a refugee, Sumaya and her family were settled in the suburb of Brighton East, a predominantly Caucasian suburb. She started at a nearby primary school, the only English she knew having learnt from Sesame Street. Her experiences of being bullied and ostracized in school caused her to develop social anxiety and a diminished self-worth which she wouldn’t know about until into her mid to late 20s. She connects with girls from schools all over the country on topics of bullying and overcoming it, body image issues and integrating as a refugee.

PATRICK GUEST: After many years spent gathering stories and tapping away in darkened rooms, Patrick has overcome his fear of public speaking and is now an accomplished performer – equal parts inspiring and entertaining – who isn’t afraid to explore the deeper motivations behind his stories. Patrick has a talent for engaging and involving his whole audience (even the kid at the back of the hall who doesn’t want to be there).