Maryam Master (Illust: Astred Hicks)
Pan Macmillan Australia

Anahita Rosalind Ghorban-Galaszczuk (yes, that really is her name but you can call her Ana) is discovering that life is absurd. As if dying of cancer at the age of 12.5 isn’t bad enough, she still has to endure daily insults from her nemesis, Alyssa (Queen Mean) Anderson. Ana’s on a wild roller-coaster of life and death, kindness and cruelty, ordinary and extraordinary. And she’s got a few things to do before she exits.

Judges’ Comments

An amusing, sensitive and at times heart-breaking look at life through the eyes of a 12-year-old. Supported by her best friend Al, Ana openly faces her terminal cancer diagnosis and treatment, her relationship with her parents’ and their new partners, whilst also coping with bullying. The characters and plot are enhanced by strategically placed illustrations, changes in font, and cleverly inserted word definitions which enable the reader to access the content in a non-confronting way. Without offering a happily ever after ending, the difficulties Ana encounters are authentically portrayed with hope, humour and positivity.

No Creative Responses