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KidLit Classics Season 1 Guests Choose Their Favourite Reads of 2022!

What an absolutely lovely, fulfilling and inspiring time I've had chatting with all the guests of KidLit Classics season 1 this year!


I love all their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the kidlit community and for the rich history of children's literature.


But we're not just about the old classics! I've asked them for their Fav KidLit Book of the Year, as well as what they'll be reading over Summer.


Need kidlit inspiration? Read on!


Bethany Loveridge:

KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


Mountainfell by Katharine Orton


"There’s magic, mythical animals, an adventure up a mountain, a plucky outcast protagonist, environmental/eco themes, and best of all, a dragon called Torkel (who is basically Falcor the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story). If I’d read Mountainfell before recording our episode, I would have said it reminded me of Rowan of Rin!"


SUMMER READING:

"Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, which I’m going to start with. I’m also excited to read the second Seven Wherewithal Way book."


More from Bethany: @bethanyloveridgeauthor


 

Karen Ginnane:


KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


No Words by Maryam Master


"This big-hearted book made me cry, in both a happy and a sad way. It's a beautiful, warm, often funny story about friendship, secrets, bravery, mental health, tragedy and a refugee boy at school in Australia learning to find his voice. Master tells a big story with impeccable lightness of touch and great insight. Loved it!"


Runner-up:

"Catching Teller Crow by Ambellin and Exekiel Kwaymullina, an Indigenous brother and sister from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I can barely express how much I adored and admired this book. It was published in 2018 and it won the Victorian Premier YA Prize for Literature, and Best Young Adult Novel at the Aurealis Awards - but I only read it this year. It weaves history, myth, magic, trauma, hope and truth into a page-turning, exquisitely written story. This is a powerful and very necessary book."


SUMMER READING:

"I've got Alan Garner's Treacle Walker lined up, along with The Raven's Song by Zana Fraiilon and Bren MacDibble. Both of these sound EXACTLY up my alley and indeed have undoubtedly been written with me in mind, which is very considerate of all authors concerned."


More from Karen: @ginnanekaren


 

Andrea Rowe:

KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


The Jammer by Nova Weetman


"A deeply moving book about brokenness and healing, grief and loss, and how community and passions can save you from heartbreak. Nova Weetman masterfully wrote this story of parental loss during her own deeply personal journey of losing her partner. This is a graceful and honest account for middle grade readers about navigating grief and finding peace."

SUMMER READING:

"There is a pile that I have been waiting for the summer to inhale, including No Words by Maryam Master, The Goodbye Year by Emily Gale, The Raven's Song by Zana Fraillion and Bren MacDibble, and Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad."

More from Andrea: @andrearowe_coastwriter


 

Anna Battese:

KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


The Chameleon Thief by Mat Larkin


"My absolute favourite of 2022. I love stories that have real heart and emotion but that can also make you laugh. 'Guffaw' is not a word I'd use often, but that's genuinely the way I laughed through this one. And oh, who wouldn't want to live in the attic of a bakery, with a Circle of delightful Aunts on your side?"


SUMMER READING:

"Waiting under the Christmas tree (not that I've peeked, I swear), is Evie and Rhino by Neridah McMullan. I've heard it's heartfelt, with a touch of Kate DiCamillo, and I can't wait to read it. It's going to make me cry, isn't it?"


More from Anna: @annabattese


 

Zewlan Moor:

KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


Be Careful, Xiao Xin! by Alice Pung and Sher Rill Ng


"It's a picture book that looks like a comic, with the use of panels and a superhero/monster overlay. It's the first bilingual Mandarin/English picture book I've seen published in Australia, and the bilingual aspect isn't only for expanding the audience or for children learning either language. It also contributes to the story, for example the Mandarin words for "Be Careful" are the same as for Xiao Xin's name. So every time we see the boy's name being called, it could also be read as "Be careful!" This really accentuates the constant anxiety and worry of the boy's helicopter family and, along with the rich illustrations, helps to convey how smothered the boy feels. Many second-generation migrants will relate to this, but the gradual unveiling of layers of the story will appeal to a broader audience."


SUMMER READING:

Sugarcoated by Sarah Epstein - bubble gum summer romance

Prometheus High by Stuart Wilson - sounds like a younger Monsters High!

We Who Hunt the Hollow by Kate Murray - cli-fi fantasy with daemon-like familiars

What We All Saw by Mike Lucas - seems like "Stand By Me" but with a story-within-a-story

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook and Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor - MG contemporary realism


More from Zewlan: @byronbiblio


 

Sam-Ellen Bound:

(Yours truly, host of KidLit Classics):


KIDLIT BOOK OF THE YEAR:


What We All Saw by Mike Lucas


Reads like a YA Stephen King, and the witchy folklore vibes mixed with the coming-of-age story played out through horror and friendship dynamics is just so right up my alley.


Runners-Up:

Mars Awakens by H.M.Waugh

A rare, true sci-fi for MG - love the environmental focus


House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Perfect escapist gothic fairytale vibes with a wonderful glam-creepy atmosphere


SUMMER READING:

The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat by Kate Temple

Mountainfell by Katharine Orton


More from Sam-Ellen: @samellenb


 

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