Northern Lights Book Awards
Message in a Sock
Winner of the Historical Category
Author: Kaye Baillie
Illustrator: Narelda Joy
MidnightSun Publishing

Click clack, click clack, click clack. It’s 1919, and knitters everywhere are making socks for the Australian soldiers. When Tammy’s mum reads about the war chest appeal for 150,000 pairs of socks, she springs to action and starts knitting. Now Mum is knitting all the time. She even knits while putting Tammy to bed by singing her the Knitters’ Song.

“How many socks will you knit?” Tammy asks.

“As many as I can before the ship sets sail,” Mum replies.

Tammy wants to send a pair to her father, who is overseas doing his part for their country, but Mum explains that this time the socks are for all the soldiers. Just in case, Tammy tucks a note for her daddy in one of socks. Then she waits and waits in anticipation for the postman to deliver a letter back to her. When it finally arrives, it is not from her father as she had hoped, but from another soldier.

Tammy not only learns that all the soldiers are “dear and precious” but realizes that other daughters must be missing their father too.

While Baillie weaves Message in a Sock together in a lyrical rhythm, Joy’s illustrations look like they have been meticulously stitched together, giving the book an heirloom quality.

You can view the full list of Northern Lights Book Award winners here: