Winter of Grace was announced yesterday as joint winner of the 2009 Children's Peace Literature Award, together with Audrey Goes To Town by Christine Harris.
The jury described Winter of Grace thus:
So now I feel all warm and glow-y inside. And very pleased to have some further evidence that the Girlfriend Fiction books are "not fluff. Not at all."This book deals with the unusual but important theme of the role of religious
affiliations for young people trying to understand the world and human relationships.
Readers are gripped by an engaging story about two Year 11 girls who keep us
intrigued with action and controversy and what might happen next.
The main character Bridie is searching for a set of beliefs or ideas to make sense of
life. Her encounter with Christian fundamentalism brings her into conflict with her
mother and her best friend Stella, who each have reasons for rejecting organised
religion. A variety of religious beliefs is portrayed, and Bridie's quest is not over by
the end of the book. The underlying message is that people with different religious
beliefs including atheism can all be sincere seekers after truth and an honorable
code of behaviour. Bridie comes to realise she needs to think and explore for herself.
Her reconciliation with Stella is based on recognising that friendship and trust allow
people to disagree about religious beliefs without damaging their relationship.
The model of respect for diverse belief systems and their adherents is a timely one in