Yes, Prime Minister!

Wahoo! There are some spectacular book choices on the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist  ! Here are some of my faves that have made it onto the list!

Dog Boy by Eva Hornung is one of the Fiction selections and I can vouch for it’s worthiness! It is an utterly stunning realist novel about a four year old Russian boy Romochka who is abandoned and, in searching for food and company, falls in with a pack of dogs who adopt him. Living with them through the Russian winter, he becomes one of them, learning all the non-verbal ways of communicating, hunting, how to look after the new whelps, what to eat. This is a gripping, astonishingly moving novel about the ‘wild child’ phenomenon. It’s The Jungle Book meets the harsh Moscow winter. When Romochka is discovered by psychologists, he has already adopted another little boy into his dog family, and has become a local terror at the rubbish tip – with a pack of wild dogs at his command.
An unputdownable exploration of the human psyche and of what separates human from animal (not a lot!).

Under the Children’s fiction category is the cackle-inspiring picture book by Leigh Hobbs (author of the Old Tom series of early readers), ‘Mr Chicken Goes to Paris’. This monstrous poulet is an innocent. Though he is simply an enormous fried chicken with a top hat and slightly crossed eyes, he exudes a delightful ignorance of the ruckus he is provoking amongst tourists and locals of Paris. The utter nonsense of this book is just as appealing to silly ‘adult’ bookshop workers as it is for children. This was one of our favourite picture books at Christmas and was also on the Children’s Book Council Awards Shortlist.

‘Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children’ by Jen Storer is a gothic little work for kids 10-13 who like a good dose of misery in their fantasy. Like the children in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and A Little Princess, poor old Tensy is an orphan who faces the adversity of not having a guardian angel. But is this really so awful? Is there something sinister about them? When the little flame haired girl is placed in the Home for Mislaid Children she brings hope for the future of their rigidly structured world.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher is in the Young Adult category. It’s an incredibly challenging read about a 15 year old girl who is drugged and abducted at an airport and taken to the middle of the Australian outback by a man who offers her a coffee. The novel is written as a letter to her captor after her release, and as we get further in, there are more and more sinister reveals, suggesting that Ty may have been planning the kidnap for a very long time. And why is he so tender? Why has he provided clothes in her favourite colour green? And how does he know so much about how she thinks?

I’ll have to get on to reading the non-fiction list. This is an absolutely sterling collection of books by category, so if you’re stuck for a captivating read, check it out!

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~ by ConsanguineousMind on July 15, 2010.

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