Being Jimmy Baxter
Fiona Lloyd
Publisher: Puffin Books, Penguin Group (Australia)
ISBN: 9781760148515
Awards Year: 2024
Category: Book of the Year: Younger Readers


A gently funny yet powerful coming-of-age middle grade novel about surviving the odds, unlikely friendships and the magical music of Elvis.

It's not eggsactly easy being Jimmy Baxter 'cause-
The real Jimmy's hiding inside
Ned Kelly's giving him the evil eye
Mum's stopped going to work and stays in bed
There's no eggs in the fridge - or anything else.
AND there's new jobs, bad-at-school brains and a whole lot of trouble called Duke.
But then . . . there's Mac.

decorative line break

The CBCA judges say...

A cleverly crafted, powerful and engaging read, this book expertly juxtaposes the protagonist Jimmy’s perception of life with the understanding offered by its adult characters. Like many child carers, Jimmy is old beyond his years, his narratorial voice is evocative of rural Australia. The plot provides Jimmy and the reader with the opportunity to learn and grow. His strength of character, vulnerability, love and determination empower him and simultaneously enable the reader to find joy and hope even in the darkest of experiences. This text delicately integrates and balances humour in a way that engages the reader without compromising its authenticity. An arresting read that sensitively addresses challenging themes, including, domestic violence, mental health, life on the run and death, in a hope filled way.


Reading Time Logo

A Reading Time reviewer says...

The story opens with Jimmy Braithwaite and his mum escaping a violent Mr Braithwaite with a helpful Mrs Jessop at the wheel. The reader’s introduced to some heavy themes up front but these are delivered with layers of good humour. This is the essence of the book – Jimmy has a funny, unique view of the world and his voice is strong throughout the story...


Teaching Notes for this book...

Penguin Random House Australia, the publisher, has generously made teaching notes available for this book on their website.


Return to Shortlist Books 2024