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Kamaleddine’s ‘The Truth About Luck’ wins inaugural Matilda Children’s Literature Prize

Samera Kamaleddine has won HarperCollins Australia’s inaugural Matilda Children’s Literature Prize for her YA manuscript The Truth About Luck.

Kamaleddine’s novel tells the story of a 16-year-old Lebanese–Australian Layla Karimi, who struggles to fit into two worlds in a fictional South Western Sydney suburb.

HarperCollins children’s and young adult publisher Lisa Berryman said, ‘The shortlist for the inaugural Matilda Children’s Literature Prize contained three very strong manuscripts, but we all fell in love with Layla Karimi from the very first page. The Truth About Luck is funny, warm, insightful and authentic, with a voice that completely engages you.

‘Talented author Samera Kamaleddine has written a book that so many teenagers will identify with, whether or not they are caught between two cultures. Her debut novel is Looking for Alibrandi for today’s teen and we are so excited to be publishing it as our first Matilda prize winner.’

Kamaleddine, a journalist who wrote for teen magazines Dolly, Girlfriend and Smash Hits early in her career, said The Truth About Luck is ‘certainly not the story I expected to pour out of me when I quit my dream job to write my dream book—but it quickly became something I was super excited to get up for every day’.

Kamaleddine receives a publishing contract with HarperCollins and an advance against royalties of $10,000. The Truth About Luck will be published under the Angus & Robertson imprint in 2021.

HarperCollins established the Matilda in 2019 to find middle-grade and YA fiction or nonfiction that reflects contemporary Australia. For more information about the prize, see the HarperCollins website.


Category: Awards Junior Local news