For the first time a children’s book has taken out book of the year at the 2015 Australian Book Industry Awards. The 52-storey treehouse written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton won the top honour as well as Younger children book of the year. Amongst the winners were titles such as, Foreign soil written by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Anzac treasures: the Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial written by Peter Pedersen and Tea and sugar Christmas written by Jane Jolly and illustrated by Robert Ingpen.
Check out the full list of winners below:
Book of the year and Younger children book of the year
The 52-storey treehouse written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton.
Andy and Terry’s incredible, ever-expanding treehouse has 13 new storeys, including a watermelon-smashing level, a wave machine, a life-size snakes and ladders game (with real ladders and real snakes), a rocket-powered carrot-launcher, a Ninja Snail Training Academy and a high-tech detective agency with all the latest high-tech detective technology, which is lucky because they have a BIG mystery to solve – where is Mr Big Nose???
General non-fiction book of the year
Where song began written by Tim Low.
An eye-opening book on the unique nature of Australian birds and their role in ecology and global evolution. Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent’s tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They’re also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.
Literary fiction book of the year
Foreign soil written by Maxine Beneba Clarke.
In Melbourne’s western suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories. The book is called Foreign Soil. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney’s notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the warpath through the rebel squats of 1960s Brixton. The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving…
Biography book of the year
A bone of fact written by David Walsh.
David Walsh – the creator of MONA in Hobart – is both a giant and an enigma in the Australian art world. A multi-millionaire mathematician who made his money gambling, David has turned a wild vision into a unique reality; he is in turns controversial, mysterious and idolised. A bone of fact is his utterly unconventional, brilliantly surprising and absorbing memoir…
Older children book of the year
Withering-by-Sea written by Judith Rossell.
High on a cliff above the gloomy coastal town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful Aunts. But one night, Stella sees something she shouldn’t have… Something that will set in motion an adventure more terrifying and more wonderful than she could ever have hoped for… a thrilling and gripping Victorian fantasy-adventure, the first in an extraordinarily exciting new series.
Illustrated book of the year
Anzac treasures: the Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial written by Peter Pedersen.
This landmark publication commemorates the centenary of the Great War’s Gallipoli campaign. ANZAC Treasures approaches the subject of Gallipoli not only from a military perspective but also in terms of its social impact and its role in commemoration and nation building. It does so through the Memorial’s immensely rich and varied National Collection, which provides a tangible link to ANZAC and gives an unparalleled insight into its many facets.
International book of the year
All the light we cannot see written by Anthony Doerr.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo. In Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta. During the war Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr deftly interweaves the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminating the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Small publishers’ adult book of the year
Diary of a foreign minister written by Bob Carr.
Six years after vacating his position as the longest-serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr returned to politics in his dream job: as Foreign Minister of Australia and a senior federal cabinet minister. For 18 months he kept a diary documenting a whirl of high-stakes events on the world stage – the election of Australia to the UN Security Council, the war in Syria – and meetings with the most powerful people on the planet.
Small publishers’ children’s book of the year
Tea and sugar Christmas written by Jane Jolly and illustrated by Robert Ingpen.
The Tea and Sugar train only came once a week on a Thursday. But the special Christmas train only came once a year. Today was Sunday. Four more days without sugar. Four more days until the Christmas train. Please, please be on time. Please don’t be late. Join Kathleen in the outback as she eagerly awaits the Christmas Tea and Sugar train. Will she meet Father Christmas? Will she receive a Christmas gift from him?
Matt Richell award for new writer of the year
Lost & found written by Brooke Davis.
At seven years old, Millie Bird realises that everything is dying around her. She wasn’t to know that after she had recorded twenty-seven assorted creatures in her Book of Dead Things her dad would be a Dead Thing, too. Agatha Pantha is eighty-two and has not left her house since her husband died. She sits behind her front window, hidden by the curtains and ivy, and shouts at passersby, roaring her anger at complete strangers. Until the day Agatha spies a young girl across the street.
Text for this article sourced from the ABIAwards website.