Outstanding Winner

Bailey Finch Takes a Stand

Ingrid Laguna

Bailey’s mum had always said that being by the creek with Bailey and her dad was as good as it gets. She had shown Bailey sap glistening on tree trunks. They had crouched together to nudge a beetle onto a leaf. They had sat on the creek’s edge with their bare feet in the water. It’s one year since Bailey’s mum died. And her dad doesn’t seem to care much about anything. But Bailey still spends afternoons by the creek with her dog, Sheba. Until Sheba gets sick—very sick—from something she must have swallowed while swimming in the creek. And Bailey notices all the rubbish polluting the waterway. Between visits to Sheba in the vet hospital, Bailey tries to find a way to make the creek safe for Sheba and other animals. And through her unexpected friendship with Israel, a quiet boy who knows about endangered species, Bailey Finch finds the courage to take a stand. Bailey Finch Takes a Stand is a moving story about love and loss, about caring for the environment and standing up to make change happen.

Judge’s Comment

Bailey Finch Takes a Stand is a well developed, gentle narrative that clearly delivers the themes of grief, family, love of pets and environmental activism. By encouraging students to read and study this text, teachers will provide expansive opportunities for students to think critically about the impact of human actions in relationships and in our care of the environment. This uplifting, high-quality piece of literature inspires student agency and will be well loved by both teachers and students.

Overall Winner
The overall winner represents the entry that is judged to be the most outstanding across all criteria. The overall winner for the primary category was Bailey Finch Takes a Stand by Ingrid Laguna. The various components of this text work together to create a text that is uplifting, accessible and easily utilised in teaching. This exquisitely written book raises the bar of excellence in its ability to deliver vital contemporary content and nuanced understanding to students in this demographic. Bailey Finch Takes a Stand is on point for raising very relevant issues for twenty-first century learners.

Outstanding Winner, Winner, Chapter Book
Resource type
Student Resource
Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences
August 2021
Print only

Text Publishing

Text Publishing is an independent, Melbourne-based publisher of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction. Text has been awarded the ABIA Small Publisher of the Year three times and won the Leading Edge Books Small Publisher of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

Visit https://www.textpublishing.com.au/