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 23 2017

The everywhere bear by Julia Donaldson

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Ill. by Rebecca Cobb. Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781447280736
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Bears, Loss, Adventure. When the everywhere Bear falls from a child's backpack on the way back to school after being taken home for the night, his adventures begin. Readers will love the Bear, and his class, Class One and their teacher, Mrs McAllister, who allows each child to take home Bear after school.
But readers will be dismayed when he falls into the street to be run over by a line marking machine, and then fall into a street drain. His yellow stripe standing out, he is then flushed out to sea. Readers will follow his adventure keenly, wanting to know whether he makes it home again, concerned that he might not make it. But of course he does. He takes a most circuitous route, floating in the sea, being picked up in a fishing net by a trawler, sold on the jetty to a woman fish and chip shop owner. Once she deems him inedible, he is tossed out of her window onto a garbage truck. Transported to the tip, all seems lost until a somewhat short sighted seagull picks him up thinking he is a fish. The gull drops him to the ground where he is rescued by a woman called Bethany on her way to work. And where does she work? At the library of course, where Class One is about to begin their day. All is resolved, a cycle has taken place which will intrigue younger readers, and Bear is back to where he started.
This absolutely charming tale is told in rhyming stanzas and I can imagine many children being able to recite sections of it soon after it is read.
Julia Donaldson also wrote the hugely popular Gruffalo and Rebecca Cobb has illustrated several of her recent books and in this one has created a soft edged pictorial style most suited to the story of the lost Bear. And the range of transport used in the endpapers adds another level of understanding to the story of the lost bear, asking readers to recognise which forms of transport Bear used.
Fran Knight



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Feb 23 2017

City of friends by Joanna Trollope

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Pan Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781509846757
(Age: Seniior secondary - Adult) Well, I have put down this book, so reluctantly, having just finished reading it, dragging myself out of Trollope's London. This is the story of four women friends, their attachments, relationships, marriages,...
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Feb 23 2017

Cast iron by Peter May

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Hachette, 2017. ISBN 9781784299774
(Age: Senior secondary-adult) Highly recommended. Crime, Thriller, Cold case. Forensic expert, Enzo Macleod opens a can of worms as he investigates the second to last murder in a book of unsolved crimes, published by the journalist, Raffin. A girl's...
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Feb 22 2017

A quiet kind of thunder by Sara Barnard

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Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781509810987
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Opposites attract, but sometimes kindred spirits with shared challenges, are more likely bedfellows. In this YA romance, the narrator is an elective mute. Stephi has recently been making progress for her ongoing anxiety,...
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Feb 22 2017

Me and you by Deborah Kelly and Karen Blair

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Penguin Viking, 2017. ISBN 9780670079247
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Family. Self awareness. With soft pastel illustrations full of warmth and humour, the family goes about its everyday events, each offering interaction between family members all done with lots of wit and love. The...
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Feb 22 2017

Fancy pants by Kelly Hibbert

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Ill. by Amanda Graham. Raising Literacy Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780994385352
'Once a year the Outback Dance is held near Bunyip's Bluff
Where animals in fancy pants arrive to strut their stuff...'
Dingo...
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Feb 21 2017

Love, ghosts and nose hair by Steven Herrick

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UQP, 2017. ISBN 9780702228780
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Love, Sex, Death, Family, Humour. The author of 22 books the first of which was published in the early 1990's, Herrick is well known for his performance poetry and verse novels which touch on the ordinary in a most...
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Feb 21 2017

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Puffin, 2016 (1988). ISBN 9780141369365
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. School, Family, Humour. With dad a used car dealer, not averse to putting sawdust in the engine to stop it being noisy, or winding back the odometer, Matilda finds it hard to understand just where she fits in. Her...
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Feb 21 2017

Monsieur Chat by Jedda Robaard

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Five Mile Press, 2017. ISBN 9781760405007
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Loneliness, Cats, Friendship. When Monsieur Chat comes into their lives, the long days for Pierre and Josephine become less lonely. The cat joins Josephine for breakfast, then goes upstairs to Pierre's flat for dinner. Each...
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Feb 20 2017

A rising man by Abir Mukherjee

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Random House, 2016. ISBN 9781910701898
(Age: Senior secondary-adult) Highly recommended. Crime fiction. India. Calcutta. British Raj. When former Scotland Yard detective Sam Wyndham is given a job by his old commander, he is happy to be leaving post war Britain. But on his first day as...
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Feb 20 2017

The fever code by James Dashner

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Maze runner bk 5. Chicken House, 2016. ISBN 9781911077169
(Age: Year 7-9) Utopian fiction. Lies and deceit. Science fiction. Special abilities. Science experiments. Relationships. If you are a Maze runner junkie, then you will enjoy this next instalment. Following on with...
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Feb 20 2017

Girl out of water by Nat Luurtsema

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Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406366525
(Age: 11+) Friendship. Humour. Swimming. Teens. Lou Brown and her friend Hannah have been best friends since they were 6; they are both tall with frizzy hair and are competitive swimmers. The 15 year olds are focused on representing Britain at the...
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Feb 20 2017

Handstand by Lisa Stickley

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Pavilion, 2016. ISBN 9781843653127
Picture book. Little girls love to do handstands and Edith is no exception. She is teaching herself and each day she gets a little better increasing her upside-downness by a second each day. But each day something interrupts her concentration like the...
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Feb 19 2017

My sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

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Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760112226
(Age: secondary to adult) Highly recommended. Crime, Thriller, Siblings, Mental health, Psychopathic behaviour. Che has always looked after his much younger sister, Rosa. Their parents are focused on their business, so the two children are taken...
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Feb 19 2017

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Usborne, 2016. ISBN 9781409581970
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Scotland, Jacobite Uprising, Adventure. When David Balfour leaves his home in 1751, after his parents' deaths, he is told by the local minister to go to the House of Shaws, there to claim his inheritance. David is baffled,...
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Feb 19 2017

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

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Hodder and Stoughton, 2016. ISBN 9781473628113
(Age: Senior secondary) Themes: Historical fantasy, War, Gender roles, Spies and Espionage, Relationships. If you can get students to pick up this voluminous title and then get them to read though the first 100 pages then they will be in for...
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Feb 19 2017

I just couldn't wait to meet you by Kate Ritchie

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Ill. by Hannah Sommerville. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780857989703
(Age: 4+) Child birth, Pregnancy, Family. When Kate Ritchie was pregnant, she began to talk to her unborn child, because she could not wait to see her child. Impatient, she began to dream of the child, thinking about it...
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Feb 17 2017

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

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The Queens of Renthia bk 1. HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780062662064
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Fantasy. Alex Award (2017). Daleina is very young when her village is attacked by spirits and everyone is killed except members of her family. Seeing them in deadly danger, Daleina is able...
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Feb 14 2017

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

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Film tie-in edition. Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760295929
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. With the imminent release of Rachel Perkin's latest film Jasper Jones it seemed a good time to read Craig Silvey's novel, winner of the Indie Book of the Year 2009, ABIA Book of the Year 2010,...
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Feb 14 2017

I'll love you always by Mark Sperring

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Ill. by Alison Brown. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408873335
(Age: 1-5) Recommended. Bedtime. Love. This warm and engaging bedtime story is sure to become a favourite with young children and the people who read it to them. When listening children will learn just how much they are loved and...
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Feb 13 2017

A hope more powerful than the sea. The journey of Doaa Al Zamel, written by Melissa Fleming

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Hachette, 2017. ISBN 9781408708446
(Age: Secondary) Highly recommended. This is a true story that, in this world today, should be read. If we are to understand the wave of refugees fleeing their own beloved countries, leaving behind families who cannot escape, then we need to know what...
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Feb 13 2017

The sisters Saint-Claire by Carlie Gibson and Tamsin Ainslie

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Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760291563
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Cooking. Siblings. Markets. Rhyming tale. A wonderful rhyming story about five mouse sisters, Harriet, Violet, Minette, Beatrice and Cecile, living with their parents, Odette and Pierre in France. The youngest mouse,...
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Feb 13 2017

Bee and me by Alison Jay

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Old Barn Books 2016. ISBN 9781910646052
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Bees. Wordless picture book. Environment. A wordless picture book which shows the significance of bees in our cities through a young girl reviving a bee she finds in her apartment.
When the bee flies into her...
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Feb 12 2017

Whisper to me by Nick Lake

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408853863
A complex, absorbing and gripping read for senior secondary students. ALA Best fiction for young adults 2017. Themes: Mental illness, schizophrenia, hearing voices, family trauma,...
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Feb 12 2017

Twinkle twinkle little star illustrated by Matt Shanks

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Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781760158668
(Age: 3-5) Nursery rhyme. The familiar Twinkle twinkle little star is illustrated in beautiful watercolours by Matt Shanks. Although the first few lines of the rhyme will be remembered by the reader, the rhyme in its entirety is given...
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Feb 12 2017

Shockwave by Peter Jay Black

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Urban Outlaws bk 5. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408851517
Peter Jay Black's Urban Outlaws series finishes in a taut and deadly race; the pace is even more frenetic, with the five friends pushed to their limits as their health deteriorates from the effects of by the deadly...
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Feb 12 2017

Magpie murders by Anthony Horowitz

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Orion Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781409158370
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Mystery. Horowitz is a best-selling author and creator of many TV shows and in Magpie Murders he showcases his talent with a homage to vintage crime novels in this novel within a novel. Editor Susan Ryeland is...
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Feb 02 2017

Literature to support the Science curriculum Foundation -7 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678470
Highly recommended for educators. Subjects: Science curriculum; Fiction; Annotated bibliography. Fran Knight and Pat Pledger continue to write first-rate reference tools for teachers in primary school education, which focus on key curriculum...
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Jan 30 2017

Literature to support the Australian curriculum: HISTORY. Foundation - Year 10 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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LinksPlus, revised 2016. ISBN 9781876678265
Highly recommended - for educators. Subjects: History curriculum; Fiction; Annotated bibliography. Fran Knight and Pat Pledger are committed to providing educators and librarians with excellent reference tools that support the Australian...
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Nov 28 2016

Literature to Support the Science Curriculum Foundation - 7 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 97801876678470
Teacher reference. Primary School. Highly recommended. Literature to Support the Science Curriculum Foundation - 7 is a collection of fiction and some non-fiction books linked to the Australian Science curriculum. Teachers and...
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Nov 01 2016

Literature to support the Science curriculum Foundation - 7 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678470
Teacher Reference.This publication is an outstanding tool for the study of science for these year levels.
Fran...
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Feb 21 2016

Fiction gems: Recommended fiction lists for Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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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...
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