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Article  •  13 March 2024


CBCA Book of the Year Notables 2024

5 Penguin books have made the Notables list this year. Learn more about them here.

Each year the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) celebrates the best children’s books of the year. But before the winners are announced, the CBCA announces a list of Notables – similar to a longlist.

This year, Penguin Random House has five books on the Notables list. Keep scrolling to learn more about them.

Book of the year: older readers

Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer book cover.

Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer by Amy Doak

This fast-paced YA murder mystery follows a girl who has just started at her ninth school in less than five years. Just days after she starts at her new school, a shocking crime takes place – and the last message on the victim’s phone is from Eleanor. When she realises that the police don’t have all the facts, Eleanor assembles an eclectic crew of fellow students to help her solve the mystery. She might learn the meaning of true friendship along the way.


This Time It's Real book cover.

This Time It’s Real by Ann Liang

When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life goes viral, her life changes overnight. But there’s just one catch . . . she made the entire thing up. Eliza has never been in a relationship before, let alone in love. To keep her cover, Eliza makes a deal with a famous actor who will pretend to be her boyfriend in exchange for help with his college applications. But what will happen when the relationship starts feeling a little too real?


Book of the year: younger readers

Being Jimmy Baxter book cover.

Being Jimmy Baxter by Fiona Lloyd

Things aren’t going easy for Jimmy Baxter. His mum has stopped going to work, there are no eggs in the fridge (or anything else), and there’s a whole lot of trouble called Duke. Fellow children’s author, Morris Gleitzman, has called it ‘a moving story told with moments of absolute delight.’ This powerful coming-of-age novel is a must-read for middle-grade children.


Scar Town book cover.

Scar Town by Tristan Bancks  

From bestselling author Tristan Bancks comes this gripping story about three friends on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth. Seven years after Old Scarborough was drowned, a house emerges from the water. Will and his friends dare each other to explore it, but when they find bones and a stash of cash, they realise they aren’t the only ones interested in the house’s secrets. Even though it means fighting for his life against the men who want what they found, Will can’t leave the mystery alone. What if the bones belong to his missing dad?


Book of the year: early childhood

When I'm Big book cover.

When I’m Big by Karen Blair

This gorgeous picture book is a warm-hearted celebration of becoming a sibling. With gorgeous illustrations and its beautifully told story, this picture book will be a favourite when welcoming a new baby to the family – and long after.

Featured Titles

Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer
Karen McManus and Holly Jackson meets Fleur Ferris in this fast-paced YA murder mystery.
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This Time It's Real
Get ready to fall in love in this hilarious romcom about a girl who begins a fake relationship with the famous actor in her class, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.
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Being Jimmy Baxter
A gently funny yet powerful coming-of-age middle grade novel about surviving the odds, unlikely friendships and the magical music of Elvis.
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Scar Town
A missing father. A drowned town. A buried secret. Three friends on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth.
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When I'm Big
'Sometimes you pick up a book that has the power to take you well beyond its pages - and this book is one of those.' Barbara Braxton, The Bottom Shelf 'A perfect book for any child about to welcome a new baby into the family . . . beautifully told . . . and lots of fun.' Good Reading A CBCA Notable Book.
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