The Centre for Youth Literature is pleased and privileged to have recently welcomed Anna Burkey to our team, as the Reader Development Manager at the State Library of Victoria:
When you come to a new country, the best way to begin to understand your new home is to soak up the stories – read the books, see the plays, join the libraries. I was already in love with Craig Silvey’s compelling Jasper Jones, with its gothic take on growing up in a regional mining town, but now I’ve arrived in Australia from the cold crags of bonny Scotland, I’m eager for more great Aussie YA reads..
Kirsty Eager’s dreamy Night Beach opened up surfing culture before I found myself in the Fremantle heat and the long, warm nights of Myke Bartlett’s mythical Fire in the Sea, chased by the Minotaur through the dark streets.
Em Bailey’s Gold Inky-winning Shift gave me the shivers, introducing me to the supernatural at the same time as Australian high school life, while Vikki Wakefield’s haunting Friday Brown gave me an aching sense of isolation, with its wide open spaces and the lonely Silence..
I perked up with Nathan Jurevicius’ wordless graphic adventure Scarygirl and was far too excited by my discovery of Nicki Greenberg’s Hamlet – her adaptation of The Great Gatsby was a joyous discovery on a previous visit to Melbourne.
There are many more books on my reading list for 2013, from catching up with classics like Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels to devouring Tim Hehir’s forthcoming Julius and the Watchmaker. I’m always on the hunt for great poetry and fabulous storytelling – recommendations are welcome!