2017 Most Underrated Book Award


The Invisible War wins the 2017 Most Underrated Book Award

A fascinating graphic novel about microbes has been named the winner of year’s Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA). Now in its sixth year, this is a unique prize run by the Small Press Network (SPN) that celebrates hidden gems – engaging and creative books across all genres that deserve to reach a wider audience.

The Invisible War by Ailsa Wild, Briony Barr, Gregory Crocetti, Ben Huchings and Jeremy Barr is a one-of-a-kind publication, funded through a Pozible campaign, created by a team of writers, illustrators and scientists, and combining the format and narrative of a graphic novel with science education writing.

The story opens in France, 1916. While treating a patient with dysentery, Sister Annie Barnaby encounters a strain of lethal bacteria. As the invaders journey deep into her gut, the resident microbes must fight to survive. Annie’s life hangs in the balance. Enter the phage, deadly predators, ready to wage war to protect their host.

The 2017 judging panel, which includes Toni Jordan, Sarah L’Estrange and Megan O’Brien, said: ‘A graphic novel about dysentery during WWI doesn’t sound like the makings of an engaging work, but The Invisible War is a cleverly created comic that’s informative, interesting and surprising…. In this book, even the bacteria go “ka-boom”. The Invisible War is an educational and entertaining book and demonstrates an exciting style of science writing that is far from textbook.’

The Invisible War is published by Scale Free Network. Publisher and co-creator Gregory Crocetti says: ‘We’re thrilled to have won the Most Underrated Book Award. This award means a lot to a tiny publisher like ourselves, who are able to take risks to creative innovative new works, but simply don’t have the marketing budget and networks to promote it.’

The Invisible War was shortlisted alongside three other terrific books: The Island Will Sink by Briohny Doyle (Brow Books), Loopholes by Susan McCreery (Spineless Wonders) and Horse Island by Christina Laidley Kennedy and Jason Busch (Zabriskie Books).

The MUBA 2017 is sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association. Find out more about the prize here.