Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9780141344034.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Mila goes with her father Gil, searching for his best friend, Matthew, whom he hasn't seen for years and who has disappeared. Together they travel to Matthew's remote cabin, with observant Mila taking note of small details and thinking through some of the anomalies of Matthew's disappearance. How can someone leave their wife, small son and sad dog without a word and why has he disappeared?
This is a clever and intelligent expose of the way that adults keep secrets from their children and from each other and how children have the ability to unravel what is going on. Mila is intrigued with the puzzle of Matthew's life and gradually comes to understand his motives and his guilt. Watchful for what is happening around her, she learns about sorrow and depression, about neglected children and ways of coping. She also learns about trust and betrayal.
This is not a typical book for adolescents. There are no vampires or angels here, but a strong family relationship between Mila and her parents that contrasts with the disintegration that Matthew's actions cause for his family. It looks squarely at marital infidelity, single parent family and depression that might cause suicide. Told through the eyes of a twelve year old, step by step old secrets are revealed and the conclusion is ambiguous. Truly adults do not have all the answers and parents keep secrets from their children.
This beautifully written and intelligent book from an award winning author will appeal to thoughtful, mature readers. A second reading would be fruitful.
Ill. Cheri Scholten. IP Kidz, 2013. ISBN 9781922120212.
This is a sensitive story about two children who are dealing with an issue that so many of our students do - their parents are separated and they spend time living at both houses. Even though they do different things with each...
Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9780143568216.
(Age: Teens) The Cinderella moment is an insightful and refreshing novel written by Jennifer Kloester about two teenage girls, Angel and Lilly, who are trying to achieve their dream careers. Angel is a young girl who is French by parentage but...
Random House 2013. ISBN 9781848530751.
It is the most exciting time in a young child's life and Jellybean is no exception - taking that big leap and starting school. She wants to read by herself and write by herself and find out why clouds are fluffy and spiders spin webs. But most of...
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2013. ISBN 9781742977706.
(Age: 16+) Recommended for an older audience as it contains material including drugs and sexual content. While her parents are away on a cruise, 17 year old Kiri receives a strange phone call and discovers that her sister didn't die in a car...
Little, Brown, 2013. ISBN 9781408702970.
(Age: Senior secondary - adult) The lives of Stella Bain chronicles the life of a woman who wakes up in an army hospital in France, during World War 1, with no idea who she is, other than a sinister feeling that she may have a past to be...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857980045.
A little boy finds a bouncing ball, and like all little boys he begins to bounce it - against a wall, along the street. But then he drops it and it bounces onto the road, between the cars, into a gutter and down the drain... Then a little girl...
Atom, 2013. ISBN 9780349001739.
Popular paranormal romance series A House of Night continues with its eleventh instalment Revealed. Written in alternating view points P.C and Kristen Cast continue from where they left off in Hidden and showcase the main...
Robert Irwin Dinosaur Hunter series. Random House, 2013. ISBN
(Age: 6-12) In this lavishly illustrated book, Robert Irwin has put together a wealth of facts and figures and other fascinating tidbits about his favourite things - dinosaurs. Son of...
Chicken House, 2013. ISBN 9781908435927.
(Age: 12+) Romance. Ghosts. Scotland. Ivy Calhoun has moved to a cold castle in Scotland. Her mother has married the local laird and she is beset with unfamiliar things, not the least a gorgeous ghost, Logan, who has haunted the castle grounds for...
Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742837420.
Zippy Zoe by Susannah McFarlane
Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742838847.
(Ages 4+)Little Mates series. Alphabet books, Australian animals. Yum Yum Yoshi, the yellow bellied glider and...
Atom, 2012. ISBN: 9781907411120.
Written in first person in alternating view points this tenth instalment in popular paranormal romance series A House of Night is packed with all the drama that comes with being a teenager and more! Confusing without background, this novel is...
ABC Books,2013. ISBN 9780733331176.
(Age: Suitable for Middle School students aged 10-15 years) Highly recommended particularly for students of History and Japanese. Yoko's diary was first published in Japan in 1996, but this is the first English translation. Yoko wrote her diary each...
Harper Collins, 2013. ISBN: 9780732296841.
(Age: Secondary) Sarah Ayoub has created an engaging plot line that speaks to relevant issues in the lives of Australian Teenagers. This was a quick read, which I didn't want to put down.
Written in the first person, seventeen year old...
Ill. by Sarah Davis. Photographer Cath Muscat. Walker Books, 2013.
(Age: 6-10) Highly recommended for crafters from 6-10 years. Themes: handicraft, collections, sewing, gifts, recycling, up-cycling. This absolutely gorgeous craft book is a companion volume to the wonderful Violet...
Ella Bella ballerina series. Orchard Books, 2012. ISBN
(Age: 4-6) Ella Bella is really excited about the surprise party that her ballet teacher, Madame Rosa has prepared for the class. There is a large Christmas tree on the stage beside Madame Rosas special music...
Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 9781408842522.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Animals. Non fiction. An attractively bound large hard back book presents information about a range of animals sure to whet the appetites of younger readers. The opening double page explains what is meant by some specific...
Aussie Notables series. Green Barrow Publishing, 2013. ISBN
(Age: 10+) Dame Nellie Melba's success transcended the confines of the world of opera. Like Dame Joan Sutherland, her name was known to most Australians regardless of their musical tastes because they...
Ill. by Heath McKenzie. IP Kids, 2011. ISBN 9781921479892. Ebook
The inspiration for this book could have been the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which begins 'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways' because it is an ode to the pleasures and delights of the...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857532947.
Set in London on the eve of the First World War, the close, loving family comprising five year old Alfie, his mother Margie and father Georgie is warmly presented in the introduction to this story. These are simple people with limited expectations...
Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743313671.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Australia, Travel, Geography. Subtitled, From the beach to the bush and more, this smaller sized, hardcover book is a reissue of the last six Harvey books; At the beach, In the bush, In the...
Ill. by Adele Jaunn. Little Hare, 2013. ISBN 9781742977164.
Billy the Bitzer heads to the park to look for his bone that he has hidden.But suddenly he finds himself in the company of a lot of other dogs and he gets itchy and twitchy in case someone finds it first.One is a beagle racing...
Ill. by Kieron Pratt. Ford St Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9781925000023
(hardback). ISBN 978192500030 (Paperback).
Highly recommended for young readers from 5 to 10. There were two excellent reasons I was keen to review this latest Riley book. Firstly, after two very happy years living and...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 97808577980502.
(Ages 9+) Recommended. The story is set just after the conclusion of World War II. Four Aussie, outback children, The Caddy Kids, are going about their lives, albeit unusual ones, surviving and awaiting the return of their Father from service....
Text, 2013. ISBN 9781922079770.
(Age: Adult-Senior Secondary) Recommended. Love. Asperger's Syndrome. Don Tillman is a genetics professor who doesn't fit the mould. He never gets past the first date and has few friends. In his quest to find the perfect woman, he writes a 16 page...
Ill. by K.G. Campbell. Candlewick Press, 2013. ISBN
This is a funny laugh out loud story and is highly recommended for younger readers. It is also a beautifully designed book with lovely comic book style illustrations with each alternative chapter presented in comic book...
Ill. by Ivan Bates. Koala Books, 2013. ISBN 9781742760728.
(Age: 2+) Recommended. Love. Kindness. Caring. Read aloud. Hansie's dad always says 'There, there, Hansie Bear' and gives him a hug whenever he hurts himself. When he walked like a duck and fell into a ditch, Dad was there,...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN: 9781876678395.
Recommended. Subtitled 'Personal and social capability, Ethical behaviour, Intercultural understanding, Numeracy'. This title contains annotated lists of novels to support the General capabilities strand of the Australian Curriculum. In...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN: 9781876678364.
Recommended. Both prolific readers with a passion for high quality children's literature, Fran and Pat have created another 'must have' for every library, time poor teacher and librarian. Their annotated bibliographies have been created with...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN 9781876678371.
If you have ever thought to yourself I wonder what new quality books I'm missing or I wonder what's available that I can use with my class, then this may be the book for you. From the stable of Pledger Consulting comes another useful...