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Historical Fiction awards 2023

Winner of the 2023 Book Links Award for Children’s Historical Fiction


The Book Links Award for Children’s Historical Fiction  WINNER – 2023

Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad

Congratulations to all the shortlisted Authors and Publishers for 2023

Watch the presentation on YouTube

Judges’ comments
When Polish Zophia becomes German Sophia adopted into a high ranking Nazi family her life becomes one of indulgence and luxury until an unexpected meeting with a person from her past reawakens long buried memories. Told in robust prose this heartfelt and harrowing story of loss and love, indoctrination and awakening, takes the reader on a multi-layered  journey where pain and joy are inextricably mixed.

StoryLinks review

Harper Collins Publishers Australia


Four titles have been chosen for the Book Links 2023 Award for Children’s Historical Fiction Short List.

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena, Penguin

Judges’ comments:  In 1942  when Australia  was facing major changes and women took up the jobs of men and began to stir up the pot that would lead to massive social changes and women’s movements, young Maggie has something to prove about girls and women in a man’s world. A carefully researched novel, full of heart and humour that fits naturally into its time period.



Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad, illustrated by Martina Heiduczek, ABC Books.

Judges’ comments: Young Polish Zophia is captured by the Nazis in WW II and forgets her true self living an idyllic life when adopted by a German family. Carefully and sensitively written, meticulously researched, the whole is a dissection the iniquitous Lebensborn program and of how the choices we make every day affect our lives and the lives of those we love.


Interned by Pamela Rushby, Walker Books.

Judges’ comments: Set during the Great War at an Australian internment camp,  we experience life as lived by two very different girls who are brought together by music, heritage, loneliness, and discrimination.  With no unnecessary frills Rushby offers her readers a realistic and immersive depiction of a period in Australian history often overlooked.



The Wearing of the Green by Claire Saxby, Walker Books.

Judges’ comments: A vivid and arresting story of one Irish girl’s experience in Australia. Biddy arrives in 1842 as part of the Earl Grey Scheme which intended both to ease the crowding in the Irish workhouses and to bring young marriageable females to Australia. Powerfully written the novel sheds a welcome light on an aspect of Australian history that still resonates today.


Congratulations to the four finalists. The winner will be announced at a special online event on 19 July via ZOOM.
This is a free event and we will have three of the four shortlisted authors joining us for a chat with the judges, plus Allison Rushby represetning Pamela Rushby.

 Book here.




Book Links 2023 Award for Children’s Historical Fiction Long List Announced!

The Book Links Award for Children’s Historical Fiction is for books with an implied readership up to the age of fourteen. Books may be fiction, graphic novels or illustrated fiction that fit the genre of historical fiction. The Judges assessed each entry as a work that will increase the understanding and appreciation of history by children, meets the criteria for this genre and is a work of literary merit.
The result is a wonderful list of splendid stories for children. Each of these has been lovingly crafted by a master storyteller. Themes covered the whole gamut of human experience, often in moments of crisis or extreme stress. Tension and excitement was leavened by strong family love, by friendship, humour, resilience and love above and beyond the norm.

Congratulations to all the creators!

The 2023 Longlist in alphabetical order of authors:

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena, Penguin.

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena, Penguin.

Tulips for Breakfast by Catherine Bauer, Ford Street Publishing.

Tulips for Breakfast by Catherine Bauer, Ford Street Publishing.

Ming & Marie: Spy for Freedom by Jackie French, HarperCollins AU.

Ming & Marie:  Spy for Freedom by Jackie French, HarperCollins AU.

Augustin and The Hot Air Balloon by David Metzenthen, Ford Street Publishing.

Augustin and The Hot Air Balloon by David Metzenthen, Ford Street Publishing.

Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad, illustrated by Martina Heiduczek, ABC Books.

Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad, illustrated by Martina Heiduczek, ABC Books.

Interned by Pamela Rushby, Walker Books.

Interned by Pamela Rushby, Walker Books.

The Wearing of the Green by Claire Saxby, Walker Books.

The Wearing of the Green by Claire Saxby, Walker Books.

This Old Thing by Cassandra Webb illustrated by Tony Flowers, Scholastic

This Old Thing by Cassandra Webb illustrated by Tony Flowers, Scholastic.

The Last Light Horse by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press.

The Last Light Horse by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press.
2023 Timeline : 1 June – Shortlist is announced; 19 July – Winner is announced
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