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Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature
Subcategory of New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
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2017 winner y separately published work icon One Thousand Hills James Roy , Noel Zihabamwe , Parkside : Omnibus Books , 2016 8852809 2016 single work novel young adult

'Agabande, Rwanda, April 1994. The children in the village are doing childlike things, playing with toys they make themselves, going to school and church on Sunday. Doing their chores. But there are whispers and looks, and messages of hate on the radio, and people are leaving. Pascal is a good boy, trying his best, but the world he knows is about to change forever. ' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Laurinda Alice Pung , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2014 7951220 2014 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'When my dad dropped us off at the front gate, the first things I saw were the rose garden spreading out on either side of the main driveway and the enormous sign in iron cursive letters spelling out LAURINDA. No 'Ladies College' after it, of course; the name was meant to speak for itself.

'Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its secret core is the Cabinet, a trio of girls who wield power over their classmates - and some of their teachers.

'Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches the Cabinet at work, and is courted by them, Lucy finds herself in a battle for her identity and integrity.

'Funny, feisty and moving, Laurinda explores Lucy's struggle to stay true to herself as she finds her way in a new world of privilege and opportunity.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon The Cracks in the Kingdom Jaclyn Moriarty , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2014 6911512 2014 single work novel fantasy (taught in 1 units)

'It's not easy being Princess Ko.

Her family is missing, taken to the World through cracks in the Kingdom, which were then sealed tightly behind them.

'Now Princess Ko is running the Kingdom, and war is looming.

'To help her find her family, she gathers a special group of teens, including Elliot Baranski of the Farms. He's been writing secret letters to a Girl-in-the-World named Madeleine Tully - and now the Kingdom needs her help.

'Madeleine and Elliot must locate the missing royals, convince them of their true identities, and figure out how to unlock the dangerous cracks between the Kingdom and the World.

'All before their enemies can stop them.' (Publisher's blurb)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Zac and Mia A. J. Betts , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 6106145 2013 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'Zac and Mia is the story of two teens who meet and form a relationship on a cancer ward, but who find life outside the hospital much more complicated.'

Source: Text Publishing website,
Sighted: 19/07/2012

2013 winner y separately published work icon A Corner of White Jaclyn Moriarty , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2012 Z1887756 2012 single work novel fantasy (taught in 1 units)

'She knew this.

That philematology is the science of kissing.

That Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known as Mark Twain.

That, originally, gold comes from the stars.

'Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World - a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie's Tea Shop.

'Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello - where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

'They are worlds apart - until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white - the slim seam of a letter.

'Elliot begins to write to Madeleine, the Girl-in-the-World - a most dangerous thing to do for suspected cracks must be reported and closed.

'But Elliot's father has disappeared and Madeleine's mother is sick. Can a stranger from another world help to unravel the mysteries in your own?

'Can Madeleine and Elliot find the missing pieces of themselves before it is too late?

'A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.' (Source: Publisher's blurb)

2012 winner y separately published work icon Only Ever Always Penni Russon , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1811624 2011 single work novel young adult fantasy 'Claire lives in an ordinary world where everything is whole. But inside Claire is broken. The silvery notes of her music box allow her an escape from her grief into a dream-world, into Clara's world.

Clara's world has always been broken. She finds broken things to swap at the markets; she walks the treacherous route past the brown river where lone dogs prowl; she avoids the seamy side when she can, but with powerful people pulling the strings, it's not always possible.

Which world is real?

Claire's and Clara's paths are set to collide, and each has much to lose - or gain.' (Publisher's blurb)
2011 winner y separately published work icon Graffiti Moon Cath Crowley , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2010 Z1720738 2010 single work novel young adult

'Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist. Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose. Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn't the best way to show it. Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other.

'An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.' (From the publisher's website.)

2010 winner y separately published work icon When the Hipchicks Went to War Pamela Rushby , Sydney : Lothian , 2009 Z1556360 2009 single work novel young adult

'The sixties are in full swing and going to a war is the last thing on Kathy's mind. For sixteen-year-old Kathy, it's all about miniskirts, the Beatles, discos and her fab new boots! The world is rapidly changing, her brother is fighting in the Vietnam War and her best friend is protesting against it. Kathy simply wants to live life and experience a world beyond her suburban existence. So when the chance comes for her to dance with an entertainment troupe in Vietnam, she slips on her boots, walks away from her convent school and heads off to war. But Kathy soon finds the reality of war is no song and dance. This go-go girl will never be the same again...'

Source: Pamela Rushby's website:
Sighted: 11/03/2010

2009 winner y separately published work icon A Brief History of Montmaray Michelle Cooper , North Sydney : Random House Australia , 2008 Z1510215 2008 single work novel young adult 'I need to write down what has just happened. I need to set down the truth. If I write lies or if I write nothing at all, this journal is worth nothing. I must do this, in case anything happens. All right. This is what happened tonight, every single terrible thing that I can remember . . . Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle on the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray, along with her tomboy younger sister Henry, her beautiful, intellectual cousin Veronica, and Veronica's father, the completely mad King John. When Sophie receives a leather journal for her sixteenth birthday, she decides to write about her day-to-day life on the island. But it is 1936 and bigger events are on the horizon. Is everything Sophie knows and loves about to change?'--(Provided by publisher)
2008 winner y separately published work icon Town James Roy , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2007 Z1421487 2007 selected work short story young adult (taught in 5 units)

'In Town, James Roy turns his hand to the short story, using it to explore the lives of the young residents of an Australian town. This town doesn't have a name. But if it seems familiar, it's because we recognise the people who walk its streets.

'From the serendipity of an unexpected moment of connection, to the sadness of leaving home, and the pain of the desperate decisions we make, these stories take a personal and uncompromising look at life. Love and loss, grief, humour and passion. Hope and hopelessness. Thirteen linked short stories, spanning a year in the lives of thirteen young people, from a town near you.' (Publisher's blurb)

2007 winner y separately published work icon The Red Shoe Ursula Dubosarsky , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2006 Z1253742 2006 single work novel young adult historical fiction (taught in 5 units) 'This is the story of Matilda and her two sisters growing up in Sydney in the 1950s at the time of the Petrov Affair. Punctuated by the headlines of the time it shows with unsettling clarity how the large events of the world can impinge on ordinary lives.' (Libraries Australia)
2006 winner y separately published work icon Theodora's Gift Ursula Dubosarsky , Camberwell : Viking , 2005 Z1193883 2005 single work children's fiction children's (taught in 4 units) Theodora is fourteen when her father has a mysterious vision. Soon after, he leaves his family and goes to live with his first wife. It is up to Theodora and her half-brother Samuel to bring him back. Meanwhile, Samuel's grandfather is dying, and Theodora begins to see a black cat that could not possibly be real. As present-day events collide with stories from a distant past, the world begins to seem a more complex place, full of uncertainty, great wonder and inspiration. - back cover
2005 winner y separately published work icon By the River Steven Herrick , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2004 Z1170535 2004 single work novel young adult (taught in 2 units)

'Harry Hodby lives in a sleepy town on the bend of a sluggish river in Australia. Harry spends most of his time swimming in Pearce Swamp, eating watermelon with his brother and dad, escaping schoolyard bullies, being in love with the secretary, and racing through butterflies in Cowpers Paddock. But life in this small river town isn't always easy. Harry's mother died when he was seven, and his friend Linda was swept away in a flood. Harry yearns to leave town even though he knows that people who get away never come back. His father has told him how to get out of town, but there's a mystery that he needs to solve before he can go...'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Front Street ed.)

2003 winner y separately published work icon The Messenger Markus Zusak , Sydney City : Pan , 2002 Z985074 2002 single work novel young adult Meet Ed Kennedy - cab-driving prodigy, pathetic card player and useless at sex. He lives in a suburban shack, shares coffee with his dog, the Doorman, and is in nervous-love with Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence - until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. - back cover
2002 winner y separately published work icon Soldier Boy : The True Story of Jim Martin the Youngest Anzac Anthony Hill , Ringwood Harmondsworth : Penguin , 2001 Z821892 2001 single work biography young adult On 28 June 1915, young James Martin sailed from Melbourne aboard the troopship Berrima - bound, ultimately, for Gallipoli. He was just fourteen years old. "Soldier Boy" is Jim's extraordinary true story, the story of a young and enthusiastic school boy who became Australia's youngest known Anzac. Four months after leaving his home country he would be numbered among the dead, just one of so many soldier boys who travelled halfway around the world for the chance of adventure. This is, however, just as much the story of Jim's mother, Amelia Martin. It is the heartbreaking tale of the mother who had to let him go, of his family who lost a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend. It is about Amelia's boy who, like so many others, just wanted to be in on the action. (Trove)
1996 winner (The Ethel Turner Prize for Children's Writing) y separately published work icon Johnny Hart's Heroes David Metzenthen , Ringwood : Puffin , 1996 Z429653 1996 single work novel young adult Working as first-time drovers for Johnny Hart, Lal and Ralph find themselves inching along a dusty, desperate road. There is a future there if only they can outlast the drought, roll with the punches, absorb the knockbacks and stick together. (LA)
1985 winner y separately published work icon The House That Was Eureka Nadia Wheatley , Ringwood : Viking Kestrel , 1984 Z61896 1984 single work novel young adult

'It’s 1981 and Evie is sixteen. She has left school but can’t find work, and her family has just moved into the run-down inner Sydney suburb of Newtown. Noel lives in the adjoining terrace house. He’s fifteen, not taking school seriously and fed up with looking after his ancient bed-ridden grandmother.

'As a friendship grows between Evie and Noel, the past is set back in motion, and the events of the 1930s Depression era begin to play out in the high-unemployment times of the early 1980s, and the house again is the centre of the Sydney anti-eviction campaign of 1931.

'Based on historical fact, meticulously researched, The House that Was Eureka is a critically acclaimed novel about a history we all share.' (Publication summary)

1983 joint winner y separately published work icon Five Times Dizzy Nadia Wheatley , Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1982 Z836401 1982 single work children's fiction children's

'Mareka would be quite happy in the milkbar in Newtown, even though it is so far from Greece, if it wasn't for the Wilson kids who give her a hard time.'

'But her Yaya, her grandmother has only recently arrived in Australia and feels lost and unhappy. She misses her mountain village and her goat, Poppy. If only Mareka cound find her something to do...'

'Then she has an idea. But it's such a big idea she feels dizzy - and there are such a lot of problems...'(Source: Back cover)

With Pamela Allen, Who Sank the Boat?
1980 winner y separately published work icon Mr. Archimedes' Bath Pamela Allen , Pamela Allen (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1980 Z667646 1980 single work picture book children's