A Blackthorn and Grim novel. Macmillan, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. Another stunning read from Juliet Marillier is sure to delight fans and new readers alike. Blackthorn has been asked to help Lady Flidais look after a young woman, Cara, who has been sent to her by her father. Meanwhile Grim has been given the task of working with Bardan, a wild strange man, to rebuild a heartwood house deep in the forest belonging to Cara's father. Both soon realise that all is not well. Blackthorn's past begins to catch up with her when her old enemy Mathuin attacks the holdings of Lady Flidais' parents and it is difficult for her to remember that she has taken a vow to seek no vengeance. Grim is troubled by the way that Bardan is treated and suspects that there are many secrets being kept at Wolf Glen. Grim and Blackthorn both have to make a heart wrenching choice: to stand together or to fight their battles alone. And what they decide could really influence the fate and happiness of the young woman, Cara.
Told in alternating chapters by Blackthorn and Grim, each story builds up suspense as a sense of doom spreads. For Grim, there is mystery surrounding Bardan's background and where he has been hidden for many years. It is strange that Cara is sent away so soon after his arrival at Wolf Glen, and the reader is left wondering about the significance of the heartwood house, which is made of different woods in a certain order. Blackthorn finds that she misses Grim's patience and solid support when he is away, but knows that both have responsibilities that must be fulfilled. The reader hopes that Blackthorn can keep her bond but it is obviously so very difficult for her to do that as she wrestles with stopping the evil Mathuin or helping Cara and Grim.
With her trade mark mix of fairy tale and historical fantasy, Marillier brings to a very satisfying conclusion the dilemmas that both Blackthorn and Grim face. Their complex relationship also grows in a rewarding and fulfilling way and the reader is left feeling content with the series, but hopeful that they will solve more mysteries together in the future.
This was an outstanding story and I hope that there will be more Blackthorn and Grim adventures in further books.
Ill. by Mitch Vane. Little lunch series. Black Dog Books,
2016. ISBN 9781925381276
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Humour. Schools. Three stories are combined in one volume in this offering from Katz, the stories of the fifteen interval in the school's morning session...
Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760400477
(Age: 4+) Fairy tale. Pied Piper. Responsibility. Rats. Reconciliation. Cautionary Tale. A quite different telling of the story of the Pied Piper is told with stunning watercolour illustrations. Rats have taken over the town of Hamelin and...
Puffin, 2016. ISBN 9780143309154
Clever Trevor's name is not really Trevor. It's Stuart. But nothing rhymes with 'Stuart' and because he is so clever - he invented and built the Rabbit Brain Booster out of his dad's old computer and a car battery - his friends have renamed him Trevor....
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408870846
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. I actually finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and the writing of this review has taken so long because this is so different and so charming I have found it difficult to find the right words. I could just say it's...
Bloomsbury, 2106. ISBN 9781681190433
This is one of the cutest board books I've seen for ages. Forget about sweet and pretty - this one is just in time for Halloween and a fun story for little people.
The local Fright Club led by Vladimir the vampire is busily practising their...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781619634145
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Smart, intelligent twelve-year-old Hale Jordan lives with his secret agent parents and younger sister Kennedy at the SRS Sub Rosa Society, an underground academy for superspies. Hale struggles to pass the physical test to...
Ill. by Ingrid Kallick. Christmas Press, 2016. ISBN 9780994234056
(Age: 6+) Norway. Myths and legends. Cautionary tales. Trolls. Two troll stories from Norway are retold in this offering from Christmas Press. Trolls are mischievous beings, not to be trusted and cause a great deal of...
Penguin Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857988126
(Age: Secondary) Subtitled: 'the Australian behind the legendary stories The dam busters, The great escape and Reach for the sky'. As the daughter of a Lancaster wireless operator/air gunner growing up in the Sydney...
Viking, 2016. ISBN 9780670079100
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Marchetta's outstanding ability as an author stands out in this engrossing and at times, heart wrenching story. Chief Inspector Bish Ortley has been suspended from the London Met, and still grieving from the death...
Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus (Scholastic) 21015. ISBN 9781742991511
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family. Music. Whales. Maddie loves to sing. She makes up her own songs and sings everywhere. One of her songs is about the whales that swim near the coast north of Perth....
Ill. by Frane Lessac. Otter-Barry Books (Little Orchard) 2016. ISBN
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Flood stories. Myths and legends. India. Many cultures have a myth about a great flood destroying part of their world, and this Indian story will be a wonderful addition to...
Little Hare, 2016. ISBN 9781760125523
(Age: All) Recommended. Cities. Sydney. Lifestyle. Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney work in Sydney and have created an almost wordless picture book which celebrates the sounds, tastes and look of their capital city for readers of all ages. Many well known...
Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670077809
Blue is a builder's dog - an ordinary builder's dog that can be found on almost any building site in this country. He rides in the ute to work, guards the tools, greets the subbies and signs the concrete slabs. (Oops!) He samples...
Ill. by Sam Winston. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406358315
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Books. Classic stories. Every few years a book comes along which extols the virtues of books and reading, told in a way which initiates discussion and sharing, illustrated so beautifully that...
Ill. by Beattie Alvarez. Second Look, 2016. ISBN 9780994234070.
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended.
This is a new edition of the novel published in 1984, Libby Gleeson's first novel and Highly Commended in the 1985 Children's Book Council of Australia awards. Her 2016 introduction...
Ill. by Gabriel Evans. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781922179609
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Verse. Pirates. Humour. Captain Sneer is very assured of his own importance as leader of a gang of pirates on board his ship The Golden Isle. But he is somewhat scared of his stomach during storms...
University of Queensland Press, 2016. ISBN 9780702253942
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Grief. Surfing. Family relations. Another hard hitting novel from Zorn is sure to appeal to fans. It's 1997 and 17 year old Sam is trying to come to grips with the sudden death of his mother from an aneurysm...
Ill. by Claire Robertson. ABC Books, 2016. ISBN 9780733331640
(Age: 4+) Families. Difference. Shirvington presents the young reader with an array of different families. Each is introduced on a one double page spread, those who make up the family described and shown in the illustrations,...
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781742379791
(Age: all) Highly recommended. Mental Health, Suicide, Loneliness, Graphic novel. A child stares out from the front cover, large eyed, on the edge of tears, alone in his bed. Readers will wonder about the child and turn the pages uncovering the...
The Raven Cycle bk 4. Scholastic Press, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. The fabulous Raven Cycle comes to a very satisfying conclusion in The Raven King. Gansey's quest to find Glendower, the ancient Welsh king is overshadowed by the fear...
Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN 9781743623534
Hey diddle diddle
You all know the riddle
A cow jumps over the moon.
It happened, all right,
On a crisp, cloudless night
On the second-last Friday in June.
But it didn't happen on the first attempt, or...
Ill. by Liz Anelli. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670077977
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Dementia. Family. Mental illness. When Dad comes home with a camera, one of those old cameras that takes film which needs to be developed, the family, Mum and their son, watch on. He seems to be taking...
Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781925266771
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Travel. Rome. Tourism. After his successful trips to Paris and London, Mr Chicken now heads for Rome. As a child he had always been interested in Ancient Rome, and now learning the language from his beginner's book...
Red Eye series. Stripes Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781847154576
(Age: 14+) Horror. Warning on back cover: Not for younger readers. Darla hopes that she will have a new life when she and her alcoholic father move to Saffron Hills. But life is not easy at the local high school where...
Ill. by Annie White. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Farms. Noise. Animals. Sleep. When Farmer Hayden goes to bed, he tries to sleep, but the noise on his farm does not let him. His animals talk all night. The cows moo, the sheep maa, the horses...
Guinness World Records, 2016. ISBN 9781910561324
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. The Guinness World Records book needs no introduction to its many fans, who will eagerly pore over the Guinness World Records 2017 with the new and strange, fascinating, weird and horrible 4,000...
Ill. by Leigh Hodgkinson. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408862780
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Mammoths, Appetite, Verse, Friendship. When Mammoth wakes one morning he finds that he is so hungry that he is vanishing. Bug tells him not to worry as he will find food for him, and pulls a...
Andersen Press, 2016. ISBN 9781783444557
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. Elephants. Competition. Elmer the patchwork elephant is back and this time he organises a race when all the young elephants decided that they wanted to find out who was the fastest runner. Each had a different colour and...
Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678456
Teacher reference. What a great resource for those charged with purchasing or recommending reading material for Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students. The Middle School aged reader can have specific interests or reading demands and keeping...