Magabala Books, 2016. ISBN 9781925360240
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Horses. Rescue work. A wonderful heart-warming short novel, Mrs Whitlam has great appeal because of its description of a bond between a girl and a horse, the closeness of family and the courage that one girl can show. Marnie has been given the part Clydesdale horse named Mrs Whitlam, and Marnie's mum has told her she should be proud to have a horse named after 'a wonderful woman'. Mrs Whitlam had belong to a girl who was killed in a car accident and her mother couldn't bear to be reminded so she gave the horse to Marnie.
The story is told in the first person by Marnie in her own entertaining way. She develops a deep bond with the horse, looking after her and using her as a sounding board for her life. When the two are at the beach, Marnie spots a child on the verge of being drowned, and together the pair manage to rescue the baby. When they get him back on the beach a boy from her school, George Costa, helps with the resuscitation and a friendship develops from there.
In Marnie, Pascoe has developed a great heroine and even though she faces teasing about her Aboriginal background, she learns to stand up for herself and continues to look after Mrs Whitlam. The loving bonds found within her family are equally as appealing as the friendship between Marnie and Mrs Whitlam, her mother standing out as a loving and wise woman who is compassionate and helpful.
This is an uplifting short novel that ticked all the boxes for me. Horse lovers are in for a treat and it would be an excellent read aloud in the classroom or a literature circle book.
Puffin, 2016. ISBN 9780143505723
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Humour, Refugees, Immigration, Cambodia. Comedian and author Phommavanh has written several books for young readers, including the popular Thai-rrific (2010) and Punchlines (2012) as well as short stories...
Ill. by Shane McG (McGowan). Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Hens, Space, Achievement, Read a loud. Zelda is sure of one thing; she wants to travel in space. And not only to get there amongst the stars, but to be the first chook to achieve this....
Ill. by Danielle McDonald. Scholastic Australia, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 6-9) Recommended. Friendship. School plays. This is the first in the series that I have read and I really enjoyed reading about the trials that Ella faced, not only in performing in the school play but in...
Pan Macmillan, 2016. ISBN 9781743534977
(Age: Secondary students) Highly recommended. This is superb and should be recommended reading to all high school students! Randa Abdel-Fattah is able to uncover the essence of high Sshool life and relationships, at the same time as revealing the...
Ill. by Danielle Macdonald. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760157203
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Zoos. Penguins. Orangutans. Ella and Olivia are really excited because they are off to the Zoo. Olivia is particularly interested in the orangutans, and Ella can't wait to see the penguins. Ella has...
Star Wars. Story-time saga. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Young fans of the Star Wars saga will be delighted with this picture book that shows Luke Skywalker when he has joined the rebels in their fight against the Empire. They want...
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2016. ISBN 9781760120276
Penelope Kingston (aka Penelope Perfect) has made a terrible mistake. When she answered the questions on the maths test, she missed five of them on the back of the page!! Not only does that mean she might not get an A on her report card (and...
Ill. by Tony Ross. HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780008197049
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Humour, Behaviour. Prefaced by a local shopkeeper who exhorts children not to read this book, lest they be encouraged to copy the behaviours shown, no child will resist the ten stories held within. Each...
Ill. by Chris Kennett. Pixel Raiders series, bk 1.
Scholastic Australia, 2016. ISBN 9781760159252
(Age: 8+) Stephanie Bendixsen and Steve O'Donnell are writers and presenters for the ABC3 show Good Game and Good Game: Spawn Point and Good Game: Pocket Edition. They are video game...
Bloomsbury Activity Books, 2016. ISBN 9781408879306
(Age: 7+) Recommended as a gift. With the craze for colouring in books still happening, this beautifully produced book is sure to be a winner.
There are flowers, fish, animals of all kinds, fruit and vegetables, all beautifully...
Harper Collins Children's Books; ABC Books, 2016. ISBN 9780733333705
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Olive is the only semi-sane character attending Mrs Groves' Boarding School for Naughty Boys, Talking Animals and Circus Performers. This is the second book in the series, and yet again her...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408873922
(Age: 16+) Recommended. 'The challenge is to practise politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible' - Hillary is quoted on the front cover. This biography by Karen Blumenthal traces Hillary's life story and reveals an amazingly...
Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9780733334870
(Age: 3+) Cautionary tale. Nose picking. Health. You will never pick your nose again after reading this horribly descriptive cautionary tale. And hopefully neither will the young audience to whom it is targeted.
Oliver has a very nasty habit,...
Orchard Books, 2016. ISBN 9781408336083
(Age: 6-9) Young novel. Princesses. Friendship. A series that concentrated on magical princesses and the power of friendship is sure to have a following. Best friends Charlotte and Mia are very upset when Charlotte's family decide to move away, but...
Moonbot Books, 2016. ISBN 9781442473553
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Ollie's Odyssey is a cinematic narrative, an epic 'a-venture' that explores the power of friendship, courage and determination, the forces of good and evil and even love and loss. This is a multi-layered story centred...
Tales of the Kingdom bk 1. Atheneum Books for Young Readers,
2015. ISBN 9781481421805
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. This reprint of Jackaroo with a new title and cover is a boon for readers who enjoy fantasy, especially one with a heroine in the vein of Robin...
Tales of the Kingdom bk 3. Atheneum Books for Young Readers,
2015. ISBN 9781481403245
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Originally published as The Wings of a Falcon, the third in the Tales of the Kingdom series is a searing, heart wrenching, horrifying and wonderful...
University of Queensland Press, 2016. ISBN 9780702253959
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Reluctant readers. Another outstanding verse novel from Herrick stars two Year 10 boys, Jonah and Manx who not only are facing the dilemmas of teenage life but their small coastal town is being taken...
Julius Zebra series. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406354935
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Champion gladiator Julius Zebra returns in another crazy outing with his zany friends. Life for the People's Champion should be exciting; everybody loves the zebra, he's even asked for hoof print...
Ill. by David Tazzyman. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408864982
(Ages: 4 - 7) Recommended. Honesty. The Truth is personified and given the physical form of a grey blob in this story, which means that what Arthur does to The Truth can be concretely illustrated. This is a clever visual way to...
Working Title Press, 2016. ISBN 9781921504853
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Grief and loss. Death. Siblings. The opening double page shows an animal sitting alone at a table, telling the reader how he misses his brother and how lost he is without him, then the eyes are naturally drawn to...
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760290030
(Ages: 7+) Graphic Novel. Anders and his trusty flying beetle Skip return from their first adventure in Anders and the comet to engage in another imaginative story while on a camping holiday near an extinct volcano. He travels with friends...
Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743054048
(Age: Senior secondary - adult) Recommended. Do you know who wrote Australia's first novel? Or who wrote the first Aboriginal novel? A brief take on the Australian novel will give you the answers to these questions whilst providing a...
Ill. by Anil Tortop. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 4+) Dogs. Pets. Choice. Responsibility. A tiny dog sits patiently in the pet shop waiting for someone to choose him. Two children arrive on their tandem, wanting a dog. Milly wants a dog to brush and preen and...
Ill. by Owen Swan. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781743629000
(Age: all) Highly recommended. Refugees, Asylum seekers, War, Freedom. The young girl in this moving book tells us her story. She and her mother must flee their country which is at war. Men come with guns and she and her mother hide...
Christmas Press, 2016. ISBN 9780994234032
(Age: All) Highly recommended. This School is Driving Me Nuts! is a great selection of plays for fun reading on your own and in the classroom with a group. Readers can read through the Perils of Prince Percy of Pomegranate or solve...
Tom Gates series. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760152659
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Liz Pichon's award winning Tom Gates series returns for the tenth hilarious instalment. Tom's uniquely irreverent style shown in both words and cartoons captures the dramas of the last day of...
EJ12 Girl Hero bk 21. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781925206043
(Age: 8 - 10) Recommended. Themes: Birthdays, Spies, Codes and Ciphers, The Great Barrier Reef, Adventures. Emma Jacks returns in her final EJ12 mission, and with her twelfth birthday approaching she has one final...
Text Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925240177
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Charles Darwin. Orchids. Diaries. Victorian England. Steampunk. Botany. Time travel. Charles Darwin's diary holds the key to the next enthralling Watchmaker novel Julius and the soulcatcher. It is 1838 and...
A beautiful idols novel. Katherine Tegen Books, Harper
Collins; 2016. ISBN 9780062496744
(Age: 15+) This is a dramatic mystery involving a number of aspirational young people who get involved in a competition because of their ambitions to get ahead. The competition arena is the...
Bloomsbury,2016. ISBN 9781408862353
(Ages: 7+) Highly recommended. Non fiction. The awesome body book is an engaging and entertaining look at the human body in a 'Believe it or Not' style text. Colourful comparative graphics with bubble-sized chunks of information make this book...
The Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760402310
(Ages: 1-4) Board book. Homes. Katie Abey, English author and illustrator, has created this bright, bold and glossy board book with textured illustrations (dirt ground, trees, pond water, beehive, birds nest).
Random House Australia. ISBN 9780143780113
(Age: 11-14) Highly recommended. Grief. Migration. Grief stricken, Summer is trying to recover, her only consolation a guitar that her brother had owned. Then her father makes a momentous decision - her family will move from London to Australia...
Ill. by Nikalas Catlow. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408869499
(Ages: 6+) Highly recommended. Activity Book. Self-Destructing Science: Space by Isabel Thomas is more than just the average activity book. It has quality information and an amazing array of science-based activities,...
Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780733334115
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. In Truly Tan: Hoodwinked, year 4 students Tan and Gloria love being spies in Peppercorn Valley. They keep an eye on things going on around the town and at school, have excellent imaginations and practise their...
Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781925381030 (paperback)
(Age 9+) Recommended. Princess Betony and the Thunder Egg is a cute story in a cute little book. it is the second story involving Princess Betony and she comes from a land of magic. To help celebrate the King and Queen's...
Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781925381047 (paperback)
(Age 8+) Highly recommended. Princess Betony and the Rule of Wishing is another book in the series featuring Princess Betony as the main character. It is a cute little hardcover story and would make a lovely gift for girls -...
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...