Book success thrills author
JAMBIN-RAISED author Christine Bongers has had one of her books shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year awards.
Bongers’ book,Henry Hoey Hobson , has been shortlisted in the younger readers’ category.
"It’s the highlight of my writing career," a thrilled Bongers said. "It’s fabulous, it’s exciting. It’s a huge thrill for someone who is still a newbie writer."Henry Hoey Hobson is Bongers’ second book, with the first, Dust, set in the drought-stricken Callide Valley in the early 1970s.
Her second novel is about 12-year-old Henry Hoey Hobson arriving at his sixth school, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, to discover that he’s the only boy in Year 7.
"Henry Hoey Hobson is about resilience and it is a book that appeals equally to boys and girls," Ms Bongers said. "It’s really for anyone who ever missed out on the A-team, anyone who ever feared they might not fit in, anyone who would love to be accepted for simply being him or herself."
Ms Bongers said the shortlisting would take her to the next level as a writer by giving her a higher profile.
She said there was potential for international attention, as many children’s networks in other countries such as the US, UK and Canada look at the shortlist.
"Most of the time as an author no one wants to know you but get shortlisted and you are the flavour of the month," she said.
She said Henry Hoey Hobson was being picked up for a lot of schools to read in upper primary years and lower high school years.
Dust is read in several schools in early high school years.
Henry Hoey Hobson has also been chosen for many readers’ cups, including the Capricornia one.
"I’ve had a dream run," Ms Bongers said.
Ms Bongers grew up with six brothers on a farm near Jambin and moved to Brisbane to attend university.
She worked in journalism and public relations before becoming an author.
Ms Bongers is working on another book, called Intruder, which will be aimed at high school level and about safety for children.