BUNBURY author makes the shortlist for the 2021 Children's Book of the Year Awards

Sally Murphy's book Worse Things is available for purchase at Collins Booksellers on Victoria Street.
Sally Murphy's book Worse Things is available for purchase at Collins Booksellers on Victoria Street.

Perhaps it can be said that no matter what challenges we're going through in our lives, the worst thing, isn't always the worst.

Dalyellup-based author Sally Murphy hopes her latest children's novel Worse Things, says exactly that.

Published in 2020 by Walker Books Australia, Worse Things has just made the shortlist for the 2021 Children's Book Council of Australia, Book of the Year Awards.

Ms Murphy said how grateful she felt to be shortlisted, especially as Worse Things was written as part of a PhD she completed at Bunbury's Edith Cowan University in 2017.

"It's not always guaranteed that the work you create in your PhD will be published. It's been nice to produce something to be published as well as shortlisted," Ms Murphy said.

Originally from Collie, Ms Murphy frequented the Collie Library which sparked within her a lifetime love of children's books.

After studying, she went on to become a teacher, telling the Mail that being a teacher was the next best thing to being a famous author.

Ms Murphy now has a list of both chapter and picture books to her name and said this latest novel explored how we belong through playing sport.

"Worse Things is a verse novel so there's still a narrative but it's told through free verse poetry. It follows three characters as they face certain challenges through playing football, hockey and soccer," she said.

Ms Murphy said it was her sons playing local football that allowed her to see children playing sport in different ways. "I wrote the book with my kids in mind. I believe that when a kid picks up a book they should see themselves in it."