|Category:||Book of the Year: Younger Readers|
Eleven-year-old Jones Kirby has just moved to Sydney from her farm in country New South Wales. She's missing her alpacas and wide-open paddocks and can't get used to her family's tiny city apartment. She's also worried that her vision is blurry - she lost her eye to cancer as a toddler. Could it be another tumour?
Enrolling at her new school, Jones meets shy, awkward August Genting. He loves fun facts, the library and knitting as much as Jones loves rock climbing and being outdoors. Who would have thought they'd become fast friends?
At home, August's parents are fighting. And for Jones, the news from the doctor is not good. To cheer themselves up, the pair hatch a brilliant plan: the August and Jones Must-See Bucket List. Together, this brave duo will set out to meet a rare monkey, run across the Harbour Bridge and even climb Australia's highest mountain.
After all, with your best friend beside you, anything is possible!
The CBCA judges say...
August and Jones explores complex and challenging concepts such as parental expectations, drought, unemployment, changing homes and schools, anxiety, depression and childhood cancer. The characterisation is strong, with adults and children presented in an authentic and believable way. Contrasts in family life are highlighted with Jones's supportive family juxtaposed with August's angry father, depressed mother and sibling ties. The book is written expertly and sensitively, balanced with humour, showing how friendship, love, personal strength and belief in oneself and others can help overcome difficulties, change and loss. Jones’ cancer is never used for sympathy, and she remains positive despite the hardships she faces.
The Reading Time reviewers say...
Read the Reading Time review August & Jones.
Return to Shortlist Books 2023