This biennial award encourages a young Australian creator of childrens books and also keeps alive the name of IBBY Australia’s first President, Ena Noel. This year’s winner is “Scatterheart” by Lili Wilkinson (black dog books)
Each chapter of Hannah’s story begins with the tale of Scatterheart, a fairy tale version of her own search for happily ever after. In a novel that is an interesting mix of historical fiction, fantasy, adventure and melodrama, Wilkinson has created in Hannah a strong character undergoing a metamorphosis from the spoilt and self centred society miss to a resilient, resourceful and loyal young woman. Her descriptions of well researched settings are equally memorable, from the dank and dangerous prison cells to the harsh realities and privations of life aboard a prison ship and in the penal colony of New South Wales. The amalgam of styles and stories revealed in Scatterheart engages, informs and entertains and is indicative of Wilkinson’s versatility.
Such skill is worthy of encouragement in an emerging young writer. The judging panel congratulates Lili Wilkinson, recipient of the IBBY Australia Ena Noel encouragement award for literature for young people.