Each year I like to show my students the notable and short listed books from the CBCA awards. I was fortunate to be a judge for these awards in 2007 and 2008, when judges read all four categories. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The collegiality between judges and the learning gained from the reading, the process and the discussions were invaluable.

As such, I use this experience as part of my book talk, telling the boys about the process we went through to decide our notable and short lists. I then talk briefly about individual books. I do this so I can fit in as many as I can in about ten minutes. We are fortunate to have a hot chocolate machine and the boys enjoy hot chocolates during reading lessons in terms 2 and 3, so I have to be mindful of allowing them time to enjoy this special treat!

I have a poster displayed with the notables for the older readers, and hard copy books on display alongside. I simply pick up books I have read and tell the boys about each one. It might be Lenny and Davey’s love of encyclopedias, it might be taking off on a postie motorbike, or an obsession with dead animals while working through the grieving process. There is such a diverse range of books available, this book talk enables me to reach many of my readers’ interests.

Do you have a favourite short listed book, or notable, from this year’s awards?

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