2022 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments 

Eleven-year-old Bindi is a typical girl living on Gundungurra Country. When Bindi’s town faces the biggest bushfire they’ve ever seen, readers learn an important lesson about the environment. Written by Gunai Woman Kirli Saunders, this deftly crafted verse novel is narrated by Bindi, a young Indigenous girl and ‘empath of the land’. There’s a glossary of Indigenous words at the back of the book.  

In her vibrant, upbeat child’s voice, Bindi explains how to care for and value the bush. For her, everything is interwoven. She’s as much at home playing hockey as she is exploring the bush or caring for an injured black cockatoo. The text is enhanced throughout with detailed black-and-white illustrations by Dub Leffler. Exploring critical issues of climate change, bushfires, and land care, this beautifully produced book is one to be treasured.