This weeks Teaser Tuesday offering (OK, I know it's Wednesday already, I'm running a little behind) is Sandy Fussell's Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Younger Reader Book of the Year 2009 shortlisted book, Polar Boy.
I'm reading Polar Boy for the second time and I'm enjoying it as much, if not more this time around. Sandy's writing is tight but rich with vivid imagery and the story is full of characters that touch the reader. The standard of books on this years shortlist is exceptional with some big name children's authors in the Younger Reader section: Morris Gleitzman, Glenda Millard and Emily Rodda to name a few. Although I'm a fan of all three, I think there is something special about Polar Boy that could see it take the honours.
Set in a 13th century polar community, a young boy's
destiny transforms him from a frightened child into a
Iluak, a Too-lee boy, has been told by his grandmother
that it is his fate to save his people from a bear. But the
mere thought of a polar bear makes Iluak’s stomach
churn and he lives in fear of this destined encounter.
When Illuak summons the courage to rescue a Northman
(Viking) child from a polar bear he realises there is a far
greater challenge involved in the prophecy -- two very
different cultures are about to collide head-on.
My grandmother is a powerful shaman - village healer, priestess and prophet - the queen of the ice. At night, when the village sleeps, Nana walks among the stars and talks to the souls of our ancestors.
Sometimes when she wakes in the morning, she looks like she has travelled a thousand miles. Her eyes are tired and her lips are swolen with the cold. So I make Nana a cup of hot tea. I like the way she slurps it down and doesn't care if it dribbles from her chin to her coat.
Good luck Sandy. Being shortlisted is a wonderful achievement, I hope Polar Boy wins the award.