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Article  •  28 March 2023


CBCA Book of the Year Notables 2023

Nine Penguin and Puffin books have been selected for the CBCA Book Awards Notables list this year.

Check out the nine Penguin and Puffin books that have been selected for the CBCA Book of the Year Notables list.

From gorgeous picture books to spine-chilling thrillers, there’s something for every young reader on this list

Book of the Year: Older Readers 

Neverlanders book cover.

Neverlanders by Tom Taylor and Jon Sommariva

From bestselling author Tom Taylor and powerhouse comic artist Jon Sommariva, comes this Peter Pan re-imagining. Neverlanders follows Bee and her fellow runaways who run into a Lost Boy from Neverland. Spirited away to Neverland by a foul-mouthed Tinker Bell, the group discovers that Neverland is not as amazing as they had imagined. Instead, it’s a war-torn land under siege by a horde of pirates. Will this new group of Lost Ones be able to save Neverland?



What We All Saw book cover.

What We All Saw by Mike Lucas

What We All Saw begins in 1972 with a dare between a group of friends. When one friend ends up in the hospital, the group is taunted by secrets, nightmares and questions. While they know that their bullies were involved, something happened that night that nobody can explain.



Book of the Year: Younger Readers

All Four Quarters of the Moon book cover.

All Four Quarters of the Moon by Shirley Marr

Adapting to her new life in Australia, Peijing hopes that everything will turn out alright for her family. But in their new home, she can’t help but notice that things seem different. Ma Ma isn’t herself, Ah Ma keeps forgetting who she is and Ba Ba is learning how to be a hands-on dad. Peijing needs to be a dependable big sister for Biju, but the uncertainty sometimes feels like so much to handle. If her family makes up the four quarters of the mooncake, where does Peijing fit in?



The Book of Wondrous Possibilities book cover.

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities by Deborah Abela

Arlo Goodman has an unusual life. He lives above a bookshop with his uncle, and his only friend is his pet mouse. One day, a girl named Lisette bursts into the shop begging for Arlo’s help and what happens next will change his life forever. As Arlo becomes swept up in an adventure involving kidnappers and car chases, he discovers that the courage he’s always longed for has been within him the whole time.  



We Run Tomorrow book cover.

We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore and Mike Barry

Sticks, Maki, Jed and Tommy live on the same street. But the adults around them are making decisions that could tear the friends apart. When they find out that auditions are being held for a movie adaptation of their favourite comic book series, the kids realise their opportunity. Get into the audition. Get the parts. Stay together.



What About Thao? book cover.

What About Thao? by Oliver Phommavanh

Thao and Kadir both want to fit in. Thao is a city kid who has just moved to a country town, and Kadir hopes that this new classmate can be his friend. When Thao learns about Kadir’s love of poetry, he helps his Kadir find his voice through words – and along the way, the two realise that their experiences are more alike than they first thought.



Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon by Gabrielle Wang

Zadie loves writing magical stories, and sometimes they come true. One day, she sets out to find her story-dog Jupiter – and when she does, she can hardly believe that she wrote him into existence. Her mom won’t let Zadie have a dog, so she brings him to her new friend’s house, but a series of unlucky events means that Zadie can’t write the happy ending she longs for.



Book of the Year: Early Childhood

This Little Joey book cover.

This Little Joey by Renée Treml

This Little Joey is a beautiful board book starring Australia’s many marsupial joeys. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but each one is equally cute. Read along to discover some of our country’s rare, endangered and lesser-known baby marsupials.



Picture Book of the Year

Dirt by Sea picture book cover.

Dirt by Sea by Michael Wagner and Tom Jellett

Explore the wonderful Australian coastline with Dad and Daisy in Dirt by Sea. Full of comic-style illustrations, the book charts the adventure of this little family as Daisy first experiences the ocean and the many marvellous places in Australia. Warning: this book will make you want to take a road trip ASAP!


Featured Titles

Neverland has become a war zone and it’s up to a new group of lost teens to set things right in this gritty YA graphic novel series from #1 New York Times bestselling Australian author Tom Taylor and powerhouse Australian comic artist Jon Sommariva!
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What We All Saw
'I loved everything about this book – its humour, its horror, its sublime storytelling.' VIKKI WAKEFIELD
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All Four Quarters of the Moon
A big-hearted story of love and resilience from CBCA award-winning author Shirley Marr, starring sisters and storytellers Peijing and Biju, a lost family finding their way, a Little World made of paper, a Jade Rabbit, and the ever-changing but constant moon.
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The Book of Wondrous Possibilities
From bestselling author Deborah Abela, comes a middle grade adventure for 8-12-year-old heroes (even if they don’t know it yet).
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We Run Tomorrow
You can run from your past, but the future is tomorrow . . .
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What About Thao?
From the author of the bestselling Thai-riffic, Con-nerd and The Other Christy comes a funny and heartfelt novel for 10+ about a city kid in a small country town who's enjoying being the new kid at his tiny two-teacher school – until Kadir arrives and things get interesting!
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Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon
Meet Zadie Ma, a girl who writes magical stories that sometimes come true. Can Zadie bring to life her most important story of all . . . the one where she finds Jupiter, the dog of her dreams? From the Australian Children's Laureate for 2022-23. Shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature in the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, and the Queensland Literary Awards.
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This Little Joey

A wonderful new board book starring Australia's many marsupial joeys, by bestselling author Renée Treml.

Read more
Dirt by Sea

Explore our wonderful coastline and the joy of a family road-trip with Dad and Daisy!

Along the way, they will discover all about Australia and much, much more.

Read more

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