Koalas are lazy, koalas are dumb -
They hang round all day,
They just sit on their…gum trees
In zoos they look cute but you should understand
If you cuddle a koala, it’ll piddle on your hand.
But there’s one koala ahead of the rest
Of all the koalas
It’s clearly the best
You maybe can guess what I’m working towards…
The Kids’ Own Australian Li-tera-ture Awards.
KOALA has given young readers a voice
For thirty years now
They have told us their choice
Their favourite books all appear on a list
And we authors can eat a nice lunch and get…blist-ers (on our fingers from signing lots of autographs and doing nice drawings and playing the guitar…)
So let’s thank KOALA for all that they do -
The committee, the teachers
And the kids too
We hope it continues for many years long
Now let’s sing KOALA that old birthday song…
We had an amazing whirlwind journey to friendly Blackheath Public last week for the KOALA Awards Day and loved every second of it.
Thank you again for making it possible for our students to share their love of reading and get up-close and personal with their heroes.
Our Stage 2 and 3 Book Club members (which have more than doubled in size from last year… word got around we go to KOALA and it’s fantastic!) were in attendance again this year and would like to pass on their thanks…
Chris from 5M wrote:
“KOALA is a very fun event. At KOALA you get to meet authors like Morris Gleitzman, author of Boy overboard. My favourite part was when we had the author’s answer a time travel related question because it was interesting hearing their thoughts on various historical events.”
Adriana from 4L wrote:
“The experience of seeing lots of authors was fun. I loved this year’s KOALA awards. When we first got there a kind lady showed us to the book store. The school was very welcoming. After everybody finished buying books we went to go listen to the author’s do their speeches. Finally it was prize time. Two of our Book Clubers Harry and Jackson got to touch Morris Gleitzman’s hand as they handed him an award. Last of all they said if you got a gold sticker on your programme you would get an envelope and people who got a blue sticker got to get a book called Charlie and the war against the Grannies. I won the book which I really enjoyed. Then with a pleasant good bye from the school we left back for school. It was another 2 hours but it was worth it!”
Rishita from 3/4O and Danielle from 3F together wrote: “We hopped on a bus and it drove for 2 hours until we reached Blackheath. Then we bought books. At the start of the ceremony we watched a fabulous play. We loved the play and our favourite authors were Jacqueline Harvey and Deborah Abela. It was so worth going. You should go too! Even though it was a very long way away.”
Nicolas from 3F said: “I enjoyed watching all the authors doing their speeches and I liked David Legge draw the rabbit reading.”
Liam from 6W wrote: “It was a great day, and I loved hearing the authors’ answers to the question “Where would you go if you could travel through time?” We were also lucky to win 30 books for the library.”
Daniel from 3F wrote: “I really enjoyed the KOALA awards because I got to meet authors and illustrators. I also loved David Legge draw on the white board.”
Bronte from 5T said: “Even though it was a long 4 hour journey and we only got 2 hours at KOALA, it was worth it!”
Ollie from 3/4R wrote: “I liked the illustrator drawing the picture.”
Jo from 5T said: “I really liked the KOALA awards. Even though it was a 4 hour journey, it was worth it. We got to see awesome authors like Emily Rodda. It was awesome!”
Cecilia from 5T wrote: “I loved the KOALA awards even though it was a long trip at least I got to meet my favourite authors like Emily Rodda and Morris Gleitzman.”
Elle from 5/6L said: “KOALA was awesome. We saw lots of famous authors including Aaron Blabey, Emily Rodda, Morris Gleitzman and Deborah Abela.”
Ella from 3F said: “It is very fun, you can buy books and you can get your books signed. My favourite book is Alice-Miranda by Jacqueline Harvey. I also enjoyed the painting, it was amazing! I love KOALA.”
Danny from 6RA said: “I enjoyed seeing all the authors.”
Emily from 3F said: “We got to buy books and the author’s even signed our books, it was very fun! I really liked when some students from Blackheath School performed.”
Jackson from 6W wrote: “I enjoyed handing the gift to Morris Gleitzman.”
And Harry from 6RO also agreed saying: “I enjoyed giving the award to Morris Gleitzman.”
Thank you and we look forward to next year!
Junior School and Gawura Teacher Librarian
A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French (Harper Collins)
In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But drought grips the land, and the shearers are on strike. Her father has turned swaggie and he's wanted by the troopers. In front of his terrified daughter, he makes a stand against them, defiant to the last. 'You'll never catch me alive, said he...' Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl's journey towards independence.
Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman (Penguin Books)
Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. Specially as a chest full of medals might impress the currently unimpressed parents of his childhood sweetheart. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy ... and his dad.
In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted, and a few things he wasn't expecting. Heartbreak, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life. From Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank's story grows out of some key moments in Australia's history.
Nona & Me by Claire Atkins (Black Inc Books)
Rosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas.
They are also best friends. It doesn't matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.
Born just five days apart in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, the girls are inseperable, until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they're in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie has lost interest in the community, preferring to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena, and Selena's gorgeous older brother Nick.
When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she be forced to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?
Soon by Morris Gleitzman (Penguin Books)
The Second World War has officially ended, but the streets are still a battleground - for food, for shelter, for protection...Felix is in hiding to stay safe, but finds he has been left holding the baby - literally. An orphaned infant has been left in his care and he will do everything he can to protect the child, in the way a few incredible people did for him during the Holocaust.
This powerfully moving addition to Morris Gleitzman's bestselling series about Felix and Zelda takes place in 1945, following the story told in After.
Naveed by John Heffernan (edited by Lyn White) (Allen & Unwin)
The explosion jolts him awake. He sits up, gasping for air, heart thumping.
Was the blast real? Perhaps it had only happened in his head, a bad dream. Demons of the dark, his father had called them. 'Push them away. They'll only poison your thoughts. Seek the light and they can't hurt you.'
Naveed is sick of war - of the foreign powers and the Taliban, the warlords and the drug barons that together have torn Afghanistan apart. He's had to grow up quickly to take care of his widowed mother and little sister, making what little money he can doing odd jobs and selling at the markets. When he adopts Nasera, a street dog with extraordinary abilities, he has a chance to help rebuild his country. But will a new friend's betrayal crush his dreams of peace forever?
From the winter of war comes the spring of hope.
Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer (Scholastic Australia)
But that won’t stop Ishmael and his intrepid band of misfits from taking on bullies, bugs, babes, the Beatles, debating and the great white whale in the toughest, the weirdest, the most humiliatingly awful – and best – year of their lives!
My Life As an Alphabet by Barrie Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin)
This isn't just about me. It's also about the other people in my life - my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.
Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little . odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to 'fix' all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life.
Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching, My Life as an Alphabet is a delightful novel about an unusual girl who goes to great lengths to bring love and laughter into the lives of everyone she cares about.
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.
His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...
The Last Thirteen : 1 by James Phelan (Scholastic Australia)
I can’t run anymore. The race is ending.
Sam makes a shocking discovery about the last 13 that will change everything. The shattering revelation will set the race on a dangerous course, more terrifying than even his worst nightmares.
With the world into turmoil and their enemies circling closer, the last 13 assemble in Egypt to take their place in the prophecy. Can they all make it to the end or will the power beyond the Dream Gate be lost to evil forever?
The last 13 is complete. The battle ends now.
Zafir by Prue Mason (edited by Lyn White)(Allen & Unwin)
Zafir has a comfortable life in Homs, Syria, until his father, a doctor, is arrested for helping a protester who was campaigning for revolution. While his mother heads to Damascus to try to find out where his father is being held, Zafir stays with his grandmother - until her house is bombed. With his father in prison, his mother absent, his grandmother ill and not a friend left in the city, Zafir must stay with his Uncle Ghazi. But that too becomes dangerous as the city becomes more and more besieged. Will Zafir survive long enough to be reunited with his parents?