KYD Advent Calendar

KILLINGS, daily columns and blog —

KYDYAC

KYD YA Championship People’s Choice

by Kill Your Darlings , August 10, 20125 Comments


As the penultimate week of the KYD YA Championship draws to a close, the team here at Kill Your Darlings thought we’d encourage you to nominate your favourite non KYDYAC-shortlisted book for the KYD YA People’s Choice category, by sharing our picks from the last 30 years.

Bec Starford – Editor
I’d nominate the underrated Victor Kelleher and his disturbing psychological thriller, Del-Del, which terrified me as a teenager. His Parkland trilogy was also a favourite.

Hannah Kent Deputy Editor
I was a big fan of Gillian Rubinstein’s Galax-Arena, which led me to create my own language (I still have the notebooks to prove it).

Estelle Tang – Online Editor
I am a staunch supporter of about 75% of the books listed here (the others simply because I haven’t read them), but there is one notable book missing from the list, in my opinion: Maureen McCarthy’s Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life. You want coming of age? You got it. The book follows three country girls as they enter their university years and the big smoke – Carmel is an incredibly shy girl who doesn’t know where she fits in, Jude is struggling with the legacy of her father’s death in South America, and Kat … well, she’s used to getting her own way. This book held my hand gently and firmly into adulthood. I read it again and again for its strongly Melbourne-based transitional tale (what up Canning St, Carlton!). This is a book that tells you: Follow your dreams! Become who you are! Love your friends! – but doesn’t say that it’s easy.

Stephanie Van Schilt – Online Intern

I’m going to admit it: I definitely have some kind of ‘high school hangover’. I think most people do. When a twitter of teenagers board my tram in a morning, I instantly feel self-conscious and nervous – the school anxiety that plagued me during those frightful years has not yet been overthrown by my adult sensibilities (rather, perhaps exacerbated by my maturing misanthropy). For this reason, among many others, I fell for Helen Barnes’ Killing Aurora while studying YA lit at uni. Reading this book as a 19-year-old did nothing to detract from its power to encapsulate that confusing, dramatic and occasionally traumatic time in a young girl’s life. The story follows two teen girls, Aurora and Web, and their battles with life, school and self. Barnes deftly tackles major themes like body image, female identity and middle-class Australian life, all the while writing with heart, humility and a brilliantly dark sense of humour. It is definitely my personal choice.

Emily Laidlaw – Online Marketing Intern
I read a lot of Margaret Clark in the years overlapping primary school and high school, and I can now see why. Upon rereading the first few pages of Fat Chance, one of her most popular series and my personal favourite, my cheeks burned at the sheer melodrama of it all: it was basically an uncomfortable reminder of teenage-me. Fat Chance is narrated by fourteen-year-old Lisa, an overweight and painfully shy schoolgirl, who’s convinced happiness and the boy of her dreams will come, if only she could shed a few kilos and look like the cover girls in Molly magazine. This speedy plot synopsis might suggest a superficiality in the novel’s tone and theme, though Clark’s writing is anything but. Rather, this book tackles heavy issues such as body image and self-esteem in a funny and, thankfully, non-cheesy way. Fat Chance reminds readers that humour is the best defence against the crippling self-doubt of early adolescence – a message which, in today’s increasingly image-focused society, is especially important.

***

People, it’s time to choose! We know there are endless Australian YA classics beyond our nominated shortlist, so if your favourite was left on the shelf, vote for it to be the KYD YA Championship People’s Choice by clicking this link and following the prompts.

You still have one more week to vote for the KYDYAC title you think should win the KYD YA Championship crown. Click here to make your vote count.

Heading into our final week, the polls will close at 5pm next Friday, 17 August. Cue the fanfare, as we’ll be announcing our winners on Tuesday 21 August, so be sure to champion your favourite and go into the draw to win some amazing prizes!




  • Agnes Nieuwenhuizen

    Excellent to see Maureen McCarthy’s QUEEN KAT, CARMEL & ST JUDE GET A LIFE in the mix. It was on my shortlist.Also loved CROSS MY HEART and looking forward to her forthcoming blockbuster, THE CONVENT.

  • http://misrule.com.au/wordpress Judith Ridge

    Is Victor Kelleher really under-rated? He won many awards and shortlisting in the 80s and 90s, and his books are frequently taught in schools. He’s perhaps not so well read these days, as he’s not publishing much, but he certainly was one of the most acclaimed writers of the 90s.

    Stephanie, I’m with you on Killing Aurora. It’s another horribly forgotten book (Like Loving Athena, my contribution to the Debate). And let’s not forget Anna Fienberg’s ground-breaking Borrowed Light, or Margo Lanagan’s powerful and troubling Touching Earth Lightly. (Long before she turned to spec fiction, Margo was getting under our skins with her unflinching novels about teen sexuality.)

  • http://www.beantherereadthat.com Kate O’D

    Yes! Queen Kat is such a favourite of mine, has a special place in my bookshelf, and heart.

    Killing Aurora was another one I was trying to remember when thinking about Dark Books – over on the Sonya Hartnett KYDYAC post. Is SPECTACULAR.

  • caroline

    like you Stephanie, Killing Aurora really spoke to me, which suprised me as i read it as an adult, too. i wish i had it to guide me through those teenage years. instead it gave an insight of a city school life and made me glad i never experienced the public transport nightmare that i now witness every weekday morning. as an actual teenager Queen Kat…, Looking for Alibrandi & The Tomorrow series were big hitters along with The Juniper Game by New Zealander Sherryl Jordan. loving this championship. thanks for bringing YA memories to the surface.

  • Fee Hulton

    Maybe it’s a bit young for the young adults tag, but I remember really loving Playing Beatie Bow. It stuck with me for so long that in my later years of high school when I visited Sydney for the first time, I ran around the Rocks trying to relive some of my favourite scenes… Other books that left a huge mark on me as a young adult (although I struggle to know if they fit in the category properly) are My Place by Sally Morgan – completely changed my life at 14. And finally – my mum’s an English teacher and she forced me to read Midnite when I was about 12. I really resented her at the time, but that book has stayed so vividly in my memory all these years that I’m quite fond of it in retrospect!

9508984918_5d8a187fc1_z

Marika Sosnowski

Living Side by Side: Multiculturalism at Home and Abroad

It all seems quite idyllic – people of varying nationalities, religions and cultures coexisting peacefully. It could be a blueprint for the perfect multicultural society. However, there’s something beneath the surface that is troubling to the western notion of modern liberalism. Read more »

9864007066_4a196b364d_z

Tim Robertson

Fear, loathing, and the erosion of civil liberties

The hysteria currently being concocted by Australia’s political leaders is a smokescreen for the more serious threat facing everyone – an attack of the very freedoms and values our nation has been built on. Read more »

308982705_be9f94455b_b

Marika Sosnowski

Back inside: Life on the Syrian-Turkish border

In Turkey, less than 50 kilometres from the border, Syrians have chosen their favourite cafes, have opened Aleppine sweet shops and set up stores in the old city. Read more »

057212e0462005b9_Thumb

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part One): TV, Books, Technology

In the first of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in television, books and technology. Read more »

isabelle_cover_grande

Dark Places and Safe Spaces: S.A. Jones’ Isabelle of the Moon and Stars

S.A. Jones’ Isabelle of the Moon and Stars is a powerful and affecting depiction of a young woman struggling with mental illness and emotional turmoil. A book like Isabelle might well be described as the underdog of Australian publishing: a character-focused literary novel published by a small press … Read more »

w527705

Carody Culver

Taking Christmas off the shelf

Ah, Christmas – for some, a time of gift-giving, awkward family gatherings and over-zealous consumption of rum balls; for booksellers, a time to weep silent tears of stress and experience the irrational but persistent fear of being buried alive beneath boxes of the latest Stephen Fry memoir. Read more »

tumblr_naod7i6Sj61tk49ymo1_1280

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part Two): Film, Music, YA Literature, Pop Culture

In the second of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in film, music, young adult literature, and pop culture. Read more »

mariah-carey-all-i-want-for-christmas

Julia Tulloh

A SuperFestive Christmas playlist

I know what you’re thinking: lists like this became redundant in 1992, when Jon Bon Jovi rubbed shoulders with Cindy Crawford beneath a Christmas tree for the first and last time. Does the ideal of Christmas music get any better? Perhaps not, but many have tried. Here are a few other Christmassy pop goodies. Read more »

Kim_cover_web_

Julia Tulloh

Kim Kardashian, butts, and the internet

We’re used to seeing her butt, and we’re also used to Kim doing crazy publicity stunts. Her entire life is a publicity stunt in itself, both the means and end of a crazy, money-making, power-acquiring trajectory. Her very fame is built on the playful and shameless self-exposure captured in the Paper shoot. Read more »

tumblr_naod7i6Sj61tk49ymo1_1280

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part Two): Film, Music, YA Literature, Pop Culture

In the second of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in film, music, young adult literature, and pop culture. Read more »

Exodus-Gods-and-Kings-Poster-Bale-and-Edgerton-691x1024

Rochelle Siemienowicz

Problems with God: Exodus: Gods & Kings

This is the thing about retellings of old and beloved foundation stories: it’s impossible to come to them fresh, without trying to compare and contrast with previous versions for veracity and style. It’s usually the modern incarnation that comes up short. Read more »

Screen-Shot-2014-10-01-at-11.22.21-AM

Matilda Dixon-Smith

Can too many parts destroy an adaptation? The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

It’s a relief to feel the weight of fidelity lift off an adaptation film, as Mockingjay: Part 1 becomes a meta-exploration of fame, franchise and future. Read more »

057212e0462005b9_Thumb

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part One): TV, Books, Technology

In the first of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in television, books and technology. Read more »

3991099211_8397c745fe_b

Connor Tomas O'Brien

Taking up space: The legitimisation of creepshotting

There is a relationship between catcalling and creepshotting. Both are practices that involve the reduction of strangers to objects to be gawked at and commented on, which is what makes the ‘Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train’ Tumblr blog interesting and complex. Read more »

IMG_0086

Connor Tomas O'Brien

Pictures of pictures: Monument Valley and the rise of the in-game photographer

Presenting screencapturing a game as a form of camera-free ‘photography’ gives rise to a conceptual issue. If the ‘photographer’ is moving through, and capturing, a world created entirely by others, then who exactly should take the credit for any images created? Read more »

tumblr_naod7i6Sj61tk49ymo1_1280

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part Two): Film, Music, YA Literature, Pop Culture

In the second of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in film, music, young adult literature, and pop culture. Read more »

2447663467_2d543e6c87_o

Danielle Binks

Young Adult literature: genre is not readership

YA is not a genre – it is a readership. It may seem like pedantic nitpicking to focus on this distinction, but so pervasive is the mistake, amongst even established literary channels, that explaining the difference has become increasingly important and indeed necessary. Read more »

00page

Danielle Binks

Disability or superpower? Deaf identity in YA

‘We actually need more stories about deaf and hard of hearing characters and for their experiences to be shared in stories. Often, young readers believe they are ‘alone’ in their deafness and do not realise that there are many others like them.’ Read more »

tumblr_naod7i6Sj61tk49ymo1_1280

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part Two): Film, Music, YA Literature, Pop Culture

In the second of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in film, music, young adult literature, and pop culture. Read more »

mariah-carey-all-i-want-for-christmas

Julia Tulloh

A SuperFestive Christmas playlist

I know what you’re thinking: lists like this became redundant in 1992, when Jon Bon Jovi rubbed shoulders with Cindy Crawford beneath a Christmas tree for the first and last time. Does the ideal of Christmas music get any better? Perhaps not, but many have tried. Here are a few other Christmassy pop goodies. Read more »

drake-cover-650

Justin Wolfers

Drake’s climate change epiphany

Or: ‘Heat of the Moment’ as an epiphany in which Drake realises the urgency and importance of acting on climate change Read more »

057212e0462005b9_Thumb

Kill Your Darlings

Best of 2014 (Part One): TV, Books, Technology

In the first of a two-part series, our brilliant Killings contributors highlight their top cultural moments of 2014 – in television, books and technology. Read more »

??????????????????????

Stephanie Van Schilt

Lady Bosses on the Box

An increasing number of female-driven comedies, dramas or melodramas are popping up on our screens. Through the filters of fiction, the worlds these heroines inhabit directly reflect our own. This is the age of the lady boss. Read more »

105768385_5672eae965_z

Stephanie Van Schilt

Bananas without pyjamas? Budgets cuts and the next generation of ABC kids

From my humble beginnings watching kids’ programming, I learnt that ‘Your ABC’ was indeed, our ABC. The protests and public outcry which followed this week’s announcement of cuts to the ABC demonstrate its crucial role in fostering a sense of community for Australians. Read more »