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

Feb 20 2018

Room on our rock by Kate and Jol Temple

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Ill. by Terri Rose Baynton. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742764108
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Refugees. By the time any child reads to the end of this book, they will be saddened by the selfish seals, reigning over their bit of rock in a vast ocean, turning away a mother and her pup who try to land. But the instructions at the end of the book tell the reader to read backwards, and in doing so, the same words are read, but reading them from back to front offers a message as old as time: welcome.
No one could be in any doubt about the message in this lovely book. The selfish seals try to keep their land for themselves, even though there is plenty of room. But in reading backwards, a welcome is given to share their rock, to join them.
The evocative watercolour illustrations give a poignancy to the animals as they lounge on their rock or swim and surf in the ocean. The vastness of the sea and waves is given sway on every page, underscoring the isolation of Australia from the rest of the world, and with the first reading of the book, a voice is raised with concern about how Australia meets its refugee responsibilities.
But the tide turns with the reading backwards, and will delight and engage young readers, revitailising discussions within the classroom about our multicultural country, its immigrants and their huge contribution to the Australian way of life. One of these books has a place in every school.
Fran Knight



More Reviews

Feb 20 2018

Jack's daughter: Growing up German in World War 11 Broken Hill by Christine Ellis

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Wakefield Press, 2017. ISBN 9781743055090
Recommended for mature readers of historical biography. Christine Ellis writes a loving biography of her mother's life.
Maisie Schuster's father Jack died at the age of 54 years when she was ten years old. His illness from pneumoconiosis...
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Feb 20 2018

Boogie bear by David Walliams

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Ill. by Tony Ross. HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008172770
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes: Difference, Polar bears, Brown bears, Adventure. When the polar bear falls asleep after eating her magnificent lunch, she wakes to find that the ice on which she has slept has broken away and...
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Feb 20 2018

48 hours: The vanishing by Gabrielle Lord

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48 Hours series book 1. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781743629758
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Themes: Kidnapping, Detectives, Murder enquiries. Jazz's best friend, Anika has been kidnapped. Her blog about a dusty old journal she found hidden in her house seems to have attracted the...
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Feb 20 2018

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

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Ill. by Jon Klassen. HarperCollins, 2017. ISBN 9780008158286
(Age: 11 - adult) Highly recommended. War, peace, Animals, Foxes. When his gruff and distant father leaves to fight in the war, motherless Peter is forced to stay with his grandfather and made to abandon his pet, a fox called...
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Feb 19 2018

The brilliant fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781681195476
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. E.B. White Read Aloud Award 2010. On your mark... get set... go finish your science project? All Gianna Zales wants is to compete at the cross-country...
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Feb 19 2018

Deception by Teri Terry

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Dark Matter, book 2. Orchard Books, 2018. ISBN 9781408341742
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Themes: Science fiction. Epidemics. Dystopian fiction. Following on immediately from Contagion, the first book in the series,...
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Feb 19 2018

In the city I see by Tori-Jay Mordey

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Magabala Books, 2018. ISBN 9781925360790
(Ages: 0-3) Themes: Cities. Board Book. These Young Art books (other titles are At the beach I see, At the zoo I see) are simple but beautiful with each...
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Feb 19 2018

Valensteins by Ethan Long

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781619634336
(Ages: 5-10) This can be summarised simply as monsters learning about love. Fans of Long's previous book Fright Club will love this as it uses the same cast of characters and...
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Feb 18 2018

Indigo Blue by Jessica Watson

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Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780734418135
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Relationships, Sailing. Jessica Watson's magical story Indigo Blue explores Year 12 student Alex's move to a new school, her life with her eccentric aunt, her love of sailing and her...
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Feb 18 2018

Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians by Gary Northfield

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Walker, 2018. ISBN 9781406371802
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Animal Stories, Ancient Egypt. Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians is the third graphic novel written and illustrated by Gary Northfield. This is another laugh out loud story, filled with puns, jokes, sarcastic...
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Feb 18 2018

Quark's Academy by Catherine Pelosi

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Lothian, 2018. ISBN 9780734417800
(Age: 9-12) Recommended. Themes: Science, Scientists, Mysteries. Catherine Pelosi's debut novel explores the lives of three young scientific masterminds and their mysterious adventures at summer camp. Augustine, Celeste and Oscar receive special...
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Feb 18 2018

Me too by Erika Geraerts and Charl Laubscher

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Ill. by Andy Murray 'Gatsby'. Walker Books Australia, 2018. ISBN 9781925381900
(Age: 3-6) Me too is a delightful and simple exploration of friendship as a young girl and boy express their wishes for someone to share in their activities. There is a simplicity to the dialogue, a...
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Feb 18 2018

Release by Patrick Ness

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406331172
(Age: 17+) Themes: Homosexuality; Family; Friendships; Sexual Identity; Ghosts; Freedom from the past. Patrick Ness is a patron for a group that promotes diversity in schools, and this book introduces sexually diverse representations. The central...
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Feb 16 2018

My brigadista year by Katherine Paterson

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Candlewick, 2018. ISBN 9780763695088
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. "When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro's army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Lora has barely been outside...
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Feb 16 2018

Three cheers for women by Marcia Williams

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406374865
(Age: 8-80) Highly recommended. Subjects: Women - History, Women - Biography. Popular British author and illustrator Marcia Williams (Dot) celebrates the astonishing achievements of women from all over the globe, from ancient to modern times. Her...
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Feb 16 2018

Beautiful mess by Claire Christian

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The Text Publishing Company, 2017. ISBN 97819254988547
(Age: 17+) Winner Text Prize. Themes: Mental Illness; Suicide; Grief; Coming-of-Age. The mess that occurs in Ava's life is not going to get cleaned up easily - her best friend has died. Gideon's mess is almost paralysing as he...
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Feb 14 2018

The Harper effect by Taryn Bashford

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Pan Macmillan 2017. ISBN 9781760552091
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Themes: Tennis. Change. Coming of age. Harper Hunter has devoted the last ten years of her life to tennis. It is her past, present, and, with any luck, her future. But that future is threatened when she turns to putty...
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Feb 14 2018

The Book of Dust: La belle sauvage by Philip Pullman

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Book of dust, vol. 1. David Fickling Books, 2017. ISBN 9780857561084
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Many years have passed since the completion of His dark materials and now Pullman fans have been graced by the first in a prequel series following baby Lyra and her...
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Feb 14 2018

Dino Diggers: Crane calamity by Rose Impey

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Ill. by Chris Chatterton Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408872468
The Dino Diggers have a new project - this time they are building a new house for Mr and Mrs Triceratops and all the little ceratops. But not not all of them are working hard - Ricky Raptor the apprentice is day-dreaming about...
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