Garth Nix -Mr Monday

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 6 00:38:53 EDT 2004


In the Australian Children's Book of the Year awards
announced a couple of hours ago, Mr Monday is on the
shortlist. The token fantasy book. Until about ten
years ago SF and fantasy titles where quite common in
the shortlist, making up about a third of the nominees
and half the winners in the older readers category.
Since 1994 (when an Isobelle Carmody novel won) they
have been very rare amoung the nominees. 
I do feel pleased that I had already bought all six
nominees for the school library. If anyone is
interested they can look at the lists here;

http://www.cbc.org.au/awards.htm

At a conference for librarians last weekend I was able
to have a good chat with one of the nominees from both
last year and the year before, Alyssa Brugman who is a
former student of the school i am now at. It
transpired that she was only living about three houses
from me twelve years ago when she was at my current
school (I was teaching elsewhere then), and that my
daughters worked with her younger brothers at the
local pizza place. If anyone reads "Walking naked" by
her (only published in Oz so far but it has been
picked up for the US) there is a very unflattering
portrait of my predecessor as librarian here. Alyssa
said it was all true. It caused quite a bit of
discussion on the Oz school librarians lists last
year.
 At the conference I also had the memorable experience
of realising that an SF novel I was reading was set
just where I was sitting, James Roy's novel "Ichabod
Hart and the Lighthouse Mystery" is set in the coastal
town of Shoal Bay, an hour north of Newcastle, but in
the book is has become the major NSW city of Port
Nelson in an alternate, steampunk, past. It was very
odd to be able to look around and think, "that
incident must have happened just over there" 

Jon


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