ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
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Latest Review

Jul 03 2015

The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black

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Orion Books, 2015. ISBN 9781780621739
(Age: 14 years+) Highly recommended. 'I am a knight. I am a knight. I am a knight...'
In strange Fairfold, a prince sleeps in a glass coffin in the middle of the forest. He had been there since forever, for as long as anyone could remember. He was not human, but then again, not a lot was in Fairfold.
Hazel and Ben were born into the strangeness of their hometown, Fairfold, where tourists disappeared daily. Fairfold, where residents knew spells and held charms. Fairfold, where humans and fae coexist. Fairfold, where the prince in the glass coffin sleeps - and they loved it, the prince especially. Whispering promises, conjuring up tales, they had wished to free him as knight and bard, but little did they know, their prince has something even more dangerous lurking in his shadow.
Fanciful and whimsical, The darkest part of the forest reinvents the beloved fairytales and adds a streak of the darkness no folktale will be complete without, with characters that win your heart and monsters that make you rethink saying your desires out loud.
Black takes your inner child and flies you among the pages with her detailed and wonderfully written tale of heroes and heartaches, about family bonds, sacrifices and sorrow. This story leaps you off cliffs in a rush of shocks that astound and clever twists that leave one gasping, never a boring moment, you will be left out of breath, completely taken by the peculiarity of Fairfold, as Hazel, Ben, fae and humans band together and fight the evil of the dark forest.
Clarissa Cornelius (Student)

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Jul 03 2015

Triple magic by Karen Wood

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Trickstars series. Allen and Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743319055
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Horse riding. Magic. Family. Perseverance. Ruby is one of three; one third of triplets who live with their mother and grandfather. The girls imagine a life that is more exciting than their poverty...
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Jul 03 2015

Soul print by Megan Miranda

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408855409
(Age: 13+) Recommended. 'I am Alina Chase - my soul is my own.'
Set in the near future, the world makes the amazing discovery of souls. They can be accessed, they can be studied. Souls never die, they get reborn into new bodies, new identities....
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Jul 03 2015

Dog and the lost leg by Carlee Yardley

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Walker Books 2015. ISBN 9781925081084
(Age: 5-7) Dog was not feeling well. What could be wrong?
Then Dog's good friend, Fox, noticed that Dog was missing a leg! No wonder Dog could not jiggle!
Dog tried all sorts of other legs as, together, the friends searched for the missing...
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Jul 03 2015

The really old forest by Cecil Kim

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Ill. by Elsa Huet. Ed. by Joy Cowley. Big & Small, 2015. ISBN 9781925186468
(Age: Yr 2+) Told in a series of letters between penpals Nicole in Australia and Jack in England in the mid 80s, this is the story of the preservation of the Millaa Millaa rainforest in Queensland....
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Jul 02 2015

Summertime, all the cats are bored by Philippe Georget

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Translated by Steven Rendall. Gilles Sebag bk 1. Europa, 2013. ISBN 9781609451219
(Age: Senior secondary-Adult) Recommended. Mystery. Detectives. France. SNCF Crime Fiction Prize, City of Lens First Crime Novel Prize. Translated from the French language. When a young Dutch...
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Jul 02 2015

Ducks to water by Brett Avison

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Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2015.
(Ages: 2-7) The product of a New Zealand author and Sydney-based illustrator, Ducks to water is the fourth book in the Bigger Digger series (others are Stuck in the muck, Pigs might fly and A bigger digger)....
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Jul 02 2015

A trifle dead by Livia Day

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Cafe La Femme Bk 1. Deadlines, 2013. ISBN 9780987216298
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Crime. Food. Tabitha Darling runs a trendy cafe and is always searching for the perfect dessert. She is sick of all the policemen who frequent her cafe and when a musician is found dead in the flat...
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Jul 02 2015

Samurai vs Ninja series by Nick Falk and Tony Flowers

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Random House Australia, 2015.
The battle for the golden egg. ISBN 9780857986054
The race for the shogun's treasure. ISBN 9780857986368
(Age: Yr 2+) The publisher's blurb for this series says, 'In the Edo Period of Japan, two teams fight for supremacy - the serious...
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Jul 02 2015

If you find this by Matthew Baker

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Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404528
(Age: 9-11) Grief and loss. Treasure hunts. Bullying. School life. Family life. Grandparents. Prodigies. Nicholas is an eleven year old maths and music prodigy, his inner dialogue is written with musical notations to describe the sounds around him...
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Jul 01 2015

Finding Monkey Moon by Elizabeth Pulford

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Finding Monkey Moon by Elizabeth Pulford
Ill. by Kate Wilkinson. Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921720734
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Toys, Loss, Determination, Hope. Michael's favourite toy, Monkey Moon, is missing. He never goes to bed without his toy, and determines to look until...
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Jul 01 2015

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson

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Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson
Simon and Schuster, 2015. ISBN 9781471122668
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Adolescent. Coming of age. Friendship. Emily is looking forward to a summer hanging out with her friend Sloane but Sloane just disappears, leaving no trace of where she has...
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Jul 01 2015

Hard Nuts of History: Wars and Battles by Tracey Turner

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A & C Black, 2015. ISBN 9781472910943
(Age: Middle -Upper primary) Recommended. What did Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale have in common?
The Boston Tea Party! What was it and what could a tea party possibly have to do with a war?
Which French military commander was...
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Jul 01 2015

Watch This Space: Out to Launch by Colin Thompson

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Random House Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781742756202
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Out To Launch is the first in a new series which will foreseeably be every bit as popular as Colin's previous bestsellers. With his very recognisable acerbic wit and uncanny ability to pinpoint the...
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Jul 01 2015

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore

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Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781619633506
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Friendship; Mystery; Adventure; Communism - fiction. Hazel Kaplansky lives during the period post-WWII in the United States when the fear of communism could divide communities, with lies, rumour and innuendo used as...
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Jun 30 2015

Mr Huff by Anna Walker

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Penguin Viking, 2015. ISBN 9780670078042
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Depression, Mental illness, Childhood fears, Bad hair days. Poor old Bill just can't seem to get rid of the cloud that hangs over his day. Right from the start things go wrong. He loses a sock, his cereal is soggy, he...
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Jun 30 2015

Bomber by Paul Dowswell

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Bloomsbury, 2015 ISBN 978 1 4088 5849 3
(Age: Upper Primary and Lower Secondary) Well recommended. A realistic and grim account of a US crew flying a B-17 bomber to England to support the RAF and then the perilous flights to bomb strategic places in Germany in 1943. Told from Harry...
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Jun 30 2015

Yes! No. (Maybe . . . ) by Liz Pichon

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Tom Gates bk 8. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN: 9781760153663
(Age: 8-12) Highly recommended. Themes: Family Life; Friendships; School life; Humour. This is another wonderful excerpt from the life and drawings of Tom Gates. The comical illustrations partner well with the text to reveal...
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Jun 30 2015

88 Lime Street - The Way In by Denise Kirby

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Omnibus Books, 2015. ISBN 9781742991009
(Age: 11-14) Ellen and her family have left their old life behind to move into a new house in a new town, and that means making new friends. When they first see their new house it seems to Ellen something isn't quite right, besides the fact it is...
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Jun 30 2015

Lara of Newtown by Chris McKimmie

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Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760112325
Author and Illustrator Chris McKimmie has created another quirky book in his unique style. This is a story of a cat that, after being abandoned by its original owner, discovers new homes encountering some difficulties en route. The story is not...
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Jun 30 2015

Kerenza by Rosanne Hawke

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A New Australian series. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742990606
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Historical novel, Early settlement, Migration, South Australia. When her father knows that the mine will soon be closed he decides to join his brother in the Mallee in South Australia to...
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Jun 29 2015

One True Thing by Nicole Hayes

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Random House Australia, 2015. ISBN: 9780857986887
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. With this second novel, Nicole Hayes has absolutely confirmed her talent as a quality writer for young adults. We are all too aware of the intense scrutiny under which our politicians are placed - and...
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Jun 29 2015

The memory shed by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

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Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus Books, Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742990347
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes, Memories, Grandparents. This wonderful series of books from Omnibus will tickle the hearts of the readers as they delve into the relationship between a child and...
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Jun 29 2015

Hard nuts of history: Kings and queens by Tracey Turner

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Ill. by Jamie Lenman. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781472910929
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Non fiction, History, Kings and queens
The fourth in the series of books about the hard nuts, those people in history who have made an impact, who have been adventurous, sees the author focussing on the...
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Jun 29 2015

Extraordinary means by Robyn Schneider

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Simon & Schuster, 2015. ISBN 9781471115486
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Seventeen year old Lane has been sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens with total drug resistant tuberculosis. His old life is four hundred miles away with his car, his dog and his girlfriend. He...
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Jun 29 2015

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

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Simon and Schuster, 2015. ISBN 9781471143564
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Samantha Kemi has a bright future as a great natural alchemist, as generations of Kemi's have done so before her. If only she could further her skills instead of staying behind to help out with her families slowly...
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Jun 29 2015

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Algonquin, 2014. ISBN 9781616202535
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended, Crime, Detection, Supernatural, Historical novel. When seventeen year old Abigail Rook lands at the port of New Fiddleham in New England in 1892, she must look for lodgings and then work to support herself. Work comes...
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Jun 26 2015

Poppy in the field by Mary Hooper

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408827635
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. World War One. Historical fiction. Nursing. Historical fiction at its best, Hooper continues the story of Poppy, a parlour maid from a grand house who joins the VAD's at the outbreak of World War One. This group of...
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Jun 26 2015

Phyllis Wong and the waking of the wizard by Geoffrey McSkimming

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Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760113384
(Age: 9+) Phyllis Wong is a sixteen year old girl who lives with her father and a small dog, Daisy. Her life to an outsider seems normal bordering on mundane. Only her best friends, Clement, and Chief Inspector Barry Inglis know that she really...
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Jun 26 2015

Ten tricky dinosaurs by Amanda Tarlau and Karen Mounsey-Smith

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Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN 9781742761336
(Age: Preschool - 8) Recommended. These ten, quirky dinosaurs are vivid and vibrant, and not VERY fearsome at all.
Excitement bubbles in this enchanting rhyming book. The little dinosaurs are all so high-spirited and energetic as they...
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Jun 26 2015

An armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis

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Tundra Books, 2014. ISBN 9781770495265
Arlo the armadillo from Brazil is always up for an adventure, a love he inherited from his grandfather Augustus who wrote a series of journals about his favourite destinations so that one day Arlo could see them for himself. On this, his first...
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Jun 26 2015

Charlie plays ball by Ree Drummond

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Ill. by Diane deGroat. HarperCollins, 2015. ISBN 9780062297525 (Age: Preschool - Yr 2) Charlie is a hard-working ranch dog. There is always so much to do on the ranch - riding, roping, feeding, fixing, and making sure pesky critters stay away from the homestead. But there's fun too,...
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