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

Mar 30 2015

A curry for Murray by Kate Hunter

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Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. UQP, 2015. ISBN 9780702253546
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Community, Food, Cooking, Neighbours. When next door neighbour, Murray announces that his wife has gone into hospital, Molly decides she will cook a curry for him. When he tells a neighbour about the lovely curry, Mrs Gregg with her bad cold asked Molly for a meal, and she cooks her some eggs. Next Sam Moloney comes with a tooth ache wanting some soft food, so Molly cooks him spinach macaroni. On it goes through the streets and wider community, until a prince rolls in with his helicopter, and Molly makes him savoury mince. Each plate of food rhymes with the person requesting the food, and several lines are repeated, making this a wonderful treat for readers. Not only do they learn about rhyme, but also repeated text, prediction and food names. And the illustrations add to the fun. Each double page sets the scene of the person asking for food and the reason, while the next page shows the food that Molly cooks, with a picture of the ingredients and equipment needed to make up that dish. Masciullo wanted her paintings to look like the images in a food magazine, so spent a lot of time making them look appetising, and she succeeds. Children will want to cook the food shown and with the ingredients shown this will be an easy task at home or in the classroom. Masciullo's naive style gives the readers lots to look at one each page and the food shown will endear them even more to this charming story about neighbours, community and sharing.
Hunter developed this story when her neighbour's wife went into hospital and her daughter suggested making a 'curry for Murray'. From there she developed the idea with her family having fun making up the rhymes with various dishes, something which could be done in class as an extension after reading this book. Masciullo has also illustrated two of my favourite picture books, Sonya Hartnett's The boy and the toy, and Come down, cat.
Fran Knight

More Reviews

Mar 30 2015

Jimmy's war : 1915 : do you dare? by Sherryl Clark

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Do You Dare? series. Puffin, 2015. ISBN 9780143308027
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: World War 1; Family Life; School life; Australia 1915 - social life and conditions. This historical fiction novel is based in the Melbourne suburb of Yarraville during 1915. Life is tough...
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Mar 30 2015

Wild Wood by Posie Graeme-Evans

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Atria Books, 2015. ISBN 9781476743615
(Age: 15 - Adult) Recommended for readers who enjoy time slip stories. When Jesse Marley discovers that she is adopted she is determined to go to the United Kingdom to find the place where she was born and uncover the secrets surrounding her birth....
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Mar 30 2015

Macbeth a graphic novel adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds

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Based on the play by William Shakespeare. Candlewick Press 2015. ISBN 9780763678029
Any new publication which helps students engage with Shakespeare is welcome, and this well- constructed and attractive graphic novel, rather than simply condensing the story and adding...
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Mar 30 2015

Here comes a kiss by Stacey McCleary and David Cornish

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Little Hare, 2015. ISBN 9781760121228
(Age: Pre-school - Yr 1) Here comes a kiss revolves around a little girl and her younger brother as they go about their day, giving kisses to one another and the little boy's toy. A delightful and tender tale of sibling love and kisses, this...
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Mar 30 2015

Ballet backflip by Meredith Costain

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Ill. by Danielle McDonald. Ella Diaries series. Scholastic Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781743628645
Recommended for readers from 7-9 years. Ella's diary contains her quirky, innermost thoughts, her observations, poems, feelings - both sad and happy, all accompanied by small action...
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Mar 27 2015

We're all Australians now by A B (Banjo) Paterson

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Ill. by Mark Wilson. Angus & Robertson, 2015. ISBN 9780732296476
(Age: 8+) Recommended. World War One. ANZAC. Poetry. In his poetic style, Banjo Paterson sent an open letter to the troops as they fought in the war in Europe. Angus & Robertson have published this beautifully...
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Mar 27 2015

Meet Marly by Alice Pung

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Our Australian girl. 1983. Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Puffin, 2015
Recommended for readers from 8-10 years. The Our Australian girl series celebrates the lives of young girls in historically significant times past. Author Alice Pung draws from her own family experiences to...
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Mar 27 2015

The umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

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Book Island, 2015. ISBN 9780994109859
(Age: Preschool) Recommended. Wordless picture book. World view. One blustery day the little dog finds a bright red umbrella in the garden. It whisks him off into the sky, above the swirling leaves and swaying trees, over his little house receding...
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Mar 26 2015

Prince of Afghanistan by Louis Nowra

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Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743314821
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. War, Afghanistan, Animals, Survival. When dog handler, Casey, is killed in the escape after the rescue of three kidnapped doctors in Taliban held Afghanistan, Mark is the only survivor of the attack and is left with...
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Mar 26 2015

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

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Sceptre: Hodder & Stoughton, 2015. ISBN: 9781444794533
(Age: 15+) Music. Dystopian fiction. In one word: unusual.
This is a book like no other, or at least any that I've read. Highly experimental (and ironic) The Chimes is set in a futuristic world where society has done away with...
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Mar 26 2015

Skin by Ilka Tampke

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Text, 2015. ISBN 9781922182333
Recommended for 14+. Ilka Tampke's first novel is set in Celtic Britain from 28 AD to 44 AD. The novel is part historical and part fantasy, and deals with the lives of the Celtic tribes living in the east of Britain before and during the Roman invasion. The...
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Mar 26 2015

Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth

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Woolshed Press, 2014. ISBN 9780857984739
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended.
'Perry has a brain condition that can cause him to feel anxious or upset in different places and circumstances. He has trouble with people - mixing with them and communicating with them - and sometimes results...
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Mar 26 2015

The Well by Catherine Chanter

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Text, 2015. ISBN 9781922182685
(Age: Adult) Set in an England that has been stricken by drought this first novel by Catherine Chanter looks at the effects of deprivation and cultism on a family seeking a change of life. The novel begins with the main character Ruth on house arrest at...
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Mar 25 2015

Zafir by Prue Mason

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Through my eyes series. Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743312544
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Syria, Dictatorship. When Zafir and his family move back to Syria, Zafir has little idea of what life will be like. He has been brought up in Dubai where he has mixed with a range of...
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Mar 25 2015

All fall down by Ally Carter

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An Embassy Row novel. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN: 9781743628942
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended.
'The scar that is very real.
The scar that is perfectly clear.
The scar that has haunted my dreams every night since the moment my mother died - from the moment the Scarred...
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Mar 25 2015

Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon

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Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316634
(Age: Yr 7+) Recommended. Clementine Darcy's year 9 philosophy class isn't turning out to be what she expected. The teacher asks the students to simply write, whilst Clementine is hoping for answers to the big questions of life and wants to know...
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Mar 25 2015

The book with no pictures by B. J. Novak

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Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780141361789
(Age: 4+) Well, you all know it goes. You hear so much hype about a book (or a movie, or a theatrical show blah blah blah) that you almost convince yourself that either you won't like it or it will be completely lame.
And, to be honest, that's pretty...
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Mar 23 2015

The Internet is like a puddle by Shona Innes

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Ill. by Irisz Agocs. Big Hug series. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN 9781760064167
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Internet, Safety. Discussing the dangers that lurk behind using the internet is one of those discussions that is hard to initiate and even more difficult to explain. Here with...
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Mar 23 2015

The playground is like the jungle by Shona Innes

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Ill. by Irisz Agocs. Big Hug series. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN 9781760064150
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Playground, Safety. Clinical and forensic psychologist Shona Innes has taken on the topic of safety in the playground at school or in the community, to help parents and teachers...
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Mar 23 2015

Talking about tricky stuff with kids by Shona Innes

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For more than 25 years now, I have had been in the privileged position of listening to the very private worries and concerns of many children. It is indeed a pretty special and sacred position to be in and I am always grateful for the opportunity. From that special spot with young people, I...
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