Best of the Web: Explore the Children’s Book of the Year awards shortlist, and more

Celebrating the finalists in this year's Children's Book of the Year, disturbing research on girls in school uniform being harassed on the street, and a moving reflection on why the small moments of parenting matter.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

The Children’s Book of Year Awards Shortlist

(Children’s Book Council of Australia)

Each year at The Parents Website, we like to celebrate the amazing talent of Australia’s children’s authors and illustrators, by bringing you the winners of the Children’s Book of the Year awards.

Those winners provide a wonderful resource for parents as they seek out the very best in literature for young people.

Of course, the winners come from a stellar collection of books that have made the shortlist. So this year, in addition to featuring the winners in August, we are also highlighting those works on the shortlist.

The books capture the theme of Read, Grow and Inspire. As the organisers note, reading books enables young people to grow their ability to walk in others’ shoes, and inspire creative thinking.

They include Ask No Questions, a blank verse memoir by debut author Eva Collins in the Older Reader category, as well as two graphic novels.

In the Picture Book category, finalists include My Strange Shrinking Parents, portraying the adult sacrifices often involved in the immigration experience, told through a child’s eyes.

Find out more

‘I started walking the long way’: many young women first experience street harassment in their school uniforms

(Bianca Fileborn and Jess Hardley, The Conversation)

This is a deeply disturbing report on new research about the sexual harassment of younger women when they are wearing their school uniform travelling to and from school.

The researchers spoke to 47 adult women and LGBTQ+ people about their earliest memories of feeling sexualised, uncomfortable or unsafe on the street.

‘Many mentioned they first experienced street harassment in their school uniforms. We heard variations of the phrase “it happened when I was in my school uniform” repeatedly from participants,’ they write.

They say their findings shows that school-related harassment is a ‘serious issue that has largely flown under the radar in Australia.’

Schools, they write, have a vitally important role to play. ‘Harassment in school uniform should not be seen as a “normal” part of growing up.’

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It’s the small moments in a child’s life that make parenting wonderful

(Lucille Wong, The Guardian)

When lockdowns ended in Melbourne last year, the author began searching for new activities for her three-year-old daughter.

It was about new skills, but also about getting her child ‘off the screens, out of the house and entertained by someone else who was not me.’

So the activities began. ‘Kinder soccer’, ballet, and swimming classes. The author charts the experiences of her daughter – what worked, what didn’t, what she loved.

This was much more than breaking free of lockdowns. It also captured the essence of being a parent.

‘As a mum of two young children, I collapse from exhaustion every night, but before that I sometimes scroll through the countless photos I have taken of her in her soccer jersey, ballet tutu and swimming costume,’ she writes.

‘It’s moments like these that make parenting wonderful. It’s in their imperfections, their trying, failing and improving.’

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