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Prize for Young Adult Fiction
Subcategory of Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
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  • Variously sponsored by Cross Pen (1996-2000), The Herald Sun (2001) and Kraft Foods (2002- ).

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Metal Fish, Falling Snow Cath Moore , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020 19549992 2020 single work novel

'Dylan and her adored French mother dream of one day sailing across the ocean to France. Paris, Dylan imagines, is a place where her black skin won’t make her stand out, a place where she might feel she belongs.

'But when she loses her mother in a freak accident, Dylan finds herself on a very different journey: a road trip across outback Australia in the care of her mother’s grieving boyfriend, Pat. As they travel through remote towns further and further from the water that Dylan longs for, she and Pat form an unlikely bond. One that will be broken when he leaves her with the family she has never known.

'Metal Fish, Falling Snow is a warm, funny and highly original portrait of a young girl’s search for identity and her struggle to deal with grief. Through families lost and found, this own-voices story celebrates the resilience of the human heart and our need to know who we truly are.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon How It Feels to Float Helena Fox , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2019 15644206 2019 single work novel young adult

'Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface–normal okay regular fine.

'But after what happens on the beach–first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe–maybe maybe maybe–there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Catching Teller Crow Ambelin Kwaymullina , Ezekiel Kwaymullina , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2018 14072595 2018 single work novel young adult

'Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since she died. Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her—and he's drowning in grief. But now they have a mystery to solve together. As it unravels, Beth finds a shocking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another. Told in two unforgettable voices, this gripping novel weaves together themes of grief, colonial history, violence, love and family.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Living on Hope Street Demet Divaroren , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2017 10953745 2017 single work novel young adult

'A young adult novel that shines a light on contemporary society. With unforgettable characters, this heartfelt novel explores cross-cultural friendships, difficult family relationships, racism and redemption.

'We all love someone. We all fear something. Sometimes they live right next door - or even closer.

'Kane will do everything he can to save his mother and his little brother Sam from the violence of his father, even if it means becoming a monster himself.

'Mrs Aslan will protect the boys no matter what - even though her own family is in pieces.

'Ada wants a family she can count on, while she faces new questions about herself.

'Mr Bailey is afraid of the refugees next door, but his worst fear will take another form.

'And Gugulethu is just trying to make a life away from terror.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon When Michael Met Mina The Lines We Cross Randa Abdel-Fattah , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2016 9625788 2016 single work novel

'A boy. A girl. Two families. One great divide.

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate. When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly. A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice' (Pan Macmillan).

Works About this Award

Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2006 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Youth Literature , October no. 2 2006; (p. 5)
Ursula Dubosarsky's acceptance speech for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, 2006, Young Adult Fiction.
Misery's Triumph Andrew Bolt , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 24 August 2003; (p. 80)
Young Adult Fiction Prize Cathrine Harboe-Ree , 1996 single work column
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , November vol. 11 no. 5 1996; (p. 39)