The 2014 Inky’s and YASLA Teens’ Top Ten

This week we had the announcement of some YA literature awards. First I was pleased to see the announcement of the winners of the Gold  and Silver Inky Awards. The Inkys are awards for teenage (or YA) novels and are co-ordinated by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria via insideadog. This year we was the 8th year of the Awards that are voted for online by the readers (who are under 20) of who can be from anywhere in the world. You can look at the titles on this year’s long and short lists and also go back to previous years lists and there are links to previous lists from here.  There have been many wonderful titles that have made these lists so all are worth a look even if they are not the eventual winners. The 2014 winners: The First Third by Will Kostakis and   All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

  • Gold Inky Award (Australian book): The First Third by Will Kostakis The second novel from the author and it is this is both a funny and sad book about families and adolescence. The main character, part of a Greek-Australian family, is 17 year old  BillyTsiolkas.
    • Publisher’s website with teaching notes here.
    • Melina Marchetta interviews Will Kostakis here.
  • Will Kostakis tells us about his book ‘The First Third’ in the video below

  • Silver Inky Award (International book): All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry  Abducted 4 years previously, Judith is back but  has been mutilated by her abductor, who also murdered her friend. Shunned by the people around her she has to decide if she can regain her voice even if it changes everything around her. A very powerful story.  In the video below, author Julie Berry introduces the novel, “All the Truth That’s In Me.”

We have both these books in our library. They have been read students at our school over the last few months and they would agree that they are great stories.

A few days ago the YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten titles were also announced. This Teen Choice list engaged Teens’ Top Ten book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country in reading and voting. The selected titles will also be included on the  Teen Book Finder App. It is now available for Android as well as iOS devices and anything that helps encourages my students to read is something I encourage. This app also offers a way to broaden the reading lists of my students in Australia by publicizing and promoting a broader range of book titles than they might otherwise see in the local library.


The Inky Awards – 2011 long list

It is not long before the CBCA winners are announced and so it is also the time for this year’s Inky’s  awards to be considered. Friday saw the announcement of the long lists. The Inkys are international awards for teenage (or YA) novels and are co-ordinated by the Centre for Youth Literature via insideadog.

This year we will be celebrating the fifth year of the Awards that are voted for online by the readers (who are under 20) of from anywhere in the world. You can read about the history of the Inkys (the winners and the books that have made the long and short lists) here. There have been many wonderful titles that have made these lists so all are worth a look even if they are not the eventual winners.

If you have not read some of these books you can go to this part of the site to find out more about each of them. We will know which titles have made the final cut on September 1 with the online voting open until October 18.

The winners will be announced at the Inkyfest on October 25.

You can read about the 2011 judges with interviews and links on the insideadog site. Lucy Christopher is on the blog already and the other judges will be interviewed each day this week.

Gold Inky 2011 long list:

  • Pig Boy by  JC Burke. The “Tom Brennan” book was such a great story and a well read book in the library. It was also one of the books our VCAL boys had to read. They are boys who, on the whole, do not  usually like reading but it was one they could relate to.  This story is again one that has very strong Australian characters and it is a very honest story about boys, bullying and violence.
  • Good Oil by Laura Buzo. 
  • Just a Girl by Jane Caro.
  • The FitzOsbournes in Exile by Michelle Cooper.
  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. A book whose characters were very recognisable to many of our students.
  • This is Shyness by Leanne Hall.
  • Black Painted Fingernails by Steven Herrick.
  • Silvermay by James Moloney. This one is new to us. We have all of James Moloney’s books for secondary school students. The fantasy ones have been very popular and this looks to be no exception.
  • The Comet Box by Adrian Stirling. Adrian Stirling’s first book Broken Glass was a very a contemporary story about rural Australian life. The Comet Box  is another look at Australian life. It is a suburban mystery that examines life in 1986  Geelong. Told through the stories of a number of different characters as they are touched by one family’s traumatic event but experienced by many within the community.
  • All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield. We only bought this book last week and another member of our staff has it for the holidays. It another first novel and what an achievement to make it to the Inky long list

Silver Inky 2011 long list:

We have some of these books, some we have not seen and some we have looked at but decided not to buy. As a school for teenage boys, we have to work out what to spend our money on to get the “best value” for our money. Books may be very well written and interesting but literature that looks to “girlie” on the cover will not get read. The boys all have to bring wider reading books to all English classes and the covers matter. Science fiction and fantasy can get away with certain symbols on the cover but in general the boys are very sensitive to how the book looks to the others.

This is the great thing about having books in e-book format. The boys who are interested in reading beyond the traditional “boys” literature, who are willing to give different stories a go, don’t have to worry about message the covers will give to their school mates.

There are others here that, after reading the on-line comments, I must get my hands on and read. I will also be encouraging our boys to vote for their favourites.

Inky Award winners 2009

The Inky Awards were announce this morning. It would have been wonderful to be there (stocktaking however must go on!)  but I am very pleased with  he winners anyway.

These awards are a celebration of the best in Young Adult literature as voted by the YA readers. 

The Golden Inky (for the best Australian title) winner was:




The Silver Inky (for the best international title) winner was:

I really enjoyed both these books and I am glad to see that many YA readers agreed with me. As I am often asked to help our students choose books for their wider reading I was glad to see that my choices can be similar to theirs.

Inky Awards Shortlist

InsideadogThe Inkys short list was decided a few weeks ago. These are all great books. The highlighted ones are those we have at our school and, although a couple of stories I liked have not made the cut, I am quite satisfied with those that have (I should say – Of those I have read, I am happy with their inclusion).


Golden Inky (for Australian titles)

  • Broken Glass (Adrian Stirling) This is a dark story of life in a fairly remote country town, with a confronting conclusion that makes this novel more suitable for older or more mature readers. It has a grim scenario involving violence and intimidation. I found Broken Glass a good read but it is also very confronting at times and I find similarities with the book Wake in fright as it shows a less savory view of Australian male friendships.
  • Jarvis 24 (David Metzenthen) This the story of 15yr old Marc Jarvis, who is from the very comfortable Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. He, like many of his contemporaries, spends a lot of time dreaming about girls and his future. Work experience brings him into contact with Electra, a verygifted runner, from another very different world and his life will never be the quite the same. It is a gently told story that touches the emotions as well sees the humour in life.
  • Where the Streets had a Name (Randa Abdel-Fattah) The Middle East is still a rare setting for YA literature. This is an interesting, intelligent and thought-provoking novel that is told through the stories about the protagonists and various people they meet. The reader learns about a human side of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and the Middle East ‘conflict’, one which has often been reported about in our daily media. It is interesting that the author has managed to be funny, despite such heavy content. This story is one of family love, survival and hope.
  • Worldshaker (Richard Harland) We only recently purchased Worldshaker and it forms part of the collection of steampunk fiction that we are building. I have only skim read it as yet but it looks good. The Worldshaker is a juggernaut, an enormous city that moves around the world, through sea and over land, crushing all in its path under giant rollers. It and the juggernauts of other nations were created after the Industrial Revolution, and exist in a world that has turned out very differently to the one we know. The story starts with an exciting incident and then, after many twists and turns, it builds inevitably towards a violent conclusion.
  • Everything Beautiful (Simmone Howell)

 Silver Inky (International titles)

  • Exposure (Mal Peet)  An interesting and good adaptation of Othello, set in the world of today’s football (soccer). It could make a good companion novel for a study of Othello. 
  • Paper Towns (John Green) The College fiction blog has a good discussion about John Green and his writing  (with links) here
  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) (My favourite) Dystopian societies seem to have become the next major after vampires. This was a gripping story. In this dystopian world teens, between the ages of 12-18, are all possible candidates for what are called the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. It is a bleak world with enough of a reflection of our current reality to see how this might have come about. However the power of humanity also shines through some of the chacaters
  • Skim (Mariko and Jillian Tamaki)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)

These are great books and I want to encourage all our students to vote. 

Vote in the Inkys

To vote you go here and there are very simple rules: Voters must be aged under 20 and they can only vote once. They can live anywhere in the world. Voting closes on Nov 20th.

For library staff: Don’t forget to go to shelftalkers for help in getting your students started.

The Inkys and other stuff

The Inkys longlist is out. I unfortunately didn’t get there (vitually or otherwise). However you can read about the list in the insidadog site and also listen to the recording.

Golden Inky (for Australian titles)

Silver Inky (International titles)

  • Exposure (Mal Peet)
  • Girl at Sea (Maureen Johnson)
  • If I Stay (Gayle Forman)
  • Love, Aubrey (Suzanne La Fleur)
  • Paper Towns (John Green)
  • Skim (Mariko and Jillian Tamaki)
  • Ten Mile River (Paul Griffin)
  • The 10PM Question (Kate de Goldi)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)
  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

I have linked to the titles I have read (or skimmed). I really enjoyed reading Anthony Eaton’s Into White Silence and Broken Glass was very confronting at times. It reminded me of how uncomfortable I felt when I read Wake in fright (many years ago now). I have been saying I must read Jarvis 24 properly as I find that David Metzenthen’s voice is very Australian and he captures a lot of our character. It is a great list of Australian titles and the International titles that I have read are certainly worthy of being on the list.

Speaking of lists, Tristan Bancks (author of the Mac Slater series) is going to be a guest-blogger at least twice a week on the Boys, Blokes, Books and Bytes site. He has started with the question “what is the best book for boys ever? and he would like everyone to answer. It should get some great conversations started.

To start with he asked a handful of Australia’s favourite children’s writers to give their tip on the best book for boys ever and got the following results:

  • James Roy: The Machine Gunners (by Robert Westall)
  • David Metzenthen: The Really Nearly Deadly Canoe Ride (by David Metzenethen)
  • Pat Flynn: Holes by Louis Sachar and Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs (by Gerard Michael Bauer)
  • Nick Place: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (by Douglas Adams)
  • And my tip? My Side of the Mountain (by Jean Craighead George)

This is such a great question I am going to ask my colleagues at work for their nominations. I want to then share the results with the students and try to get some ideas from them. It should fit in well with the Book Week activities next week.

It will be interesting to see if there is much of an overlap. There are usually quite a few differences between the winners lists of the CBCA  book awards and the Yabba and Inky winners.

I would love to get any other thoughts as well. If you don’t know Mac Slater, have a look at the little video trailers below;

and listen to the ideas behind Tristan’s books