Hardie Grant Egmont, 2013. ISBN 9781742977706.
(Age: 16+) Recommended for an older audience as it contains material including drugs and sexual content. While her parents are away on a cruise, 17 year old Kiri receives a strange phone call and discovers that her sister didn't die in a car accident, but had been murdered. Going to meet Doug, the man who had phoned, Kiri begins to uncover the mystery surrounding Sukey, the sister that her parents had kicked out of home. Her carefully regulated life begins to break down as she discovers the lies that her parents had told her and has to rethink her memories of her sister. Then she meets Skunk, a large, tattooed boy who repairs her bike and who is strange.
The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride with Kiri as she speeds on her bike, sometimes high on drugs, through the neighbourhood where her sister had last lived. From the obsessive teen, who has a practice timetable taped on the lid of her piano, organising for the International Young Pianist's Showcase, and who plays in Sonic Youth for the Battle of the Bands, we watch her exhilarating spiral down into what Lukas' social worker mother calls monomania. There are thrilling bike rides in the middle of the night, drug taking, music of both the classical and popular and discussions of life - 'The way cannot be cut, knotted, dimmed or stilled' - Skunk's and her favourite line from the Tao. Kiri's life is a mess and so is Skunk's, but together they move forward.
More serious issues of mental health, paranoia and murder are also themes, with questions of what is normality an undertone to the book. It is beautifully written with many striking images and dialogue. It is sure to appeal to reluctant readers and will engender much discussion around drug taking and honesty between family members.
Little, Brown, 2013. ISBN 9781408702970.
(Age: Senior secondary - adult) The lives of Stella Bain chronicles the life of a woman who wakes up in an army hospital in France, during World War 1, with no idea who she is, other than a sinister feeling that she may have a past to be...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857980045.
A little boy finds a bouncing ball, and like all little boys he begins to bounce it - against a wall, along the street. But then he drops it and it bounces onto the road, between the cars, into a gutter and down the drain... Then a little girl...
Atom, 2013. ISBN 9780349001739.
Popular paranormal romance series A House of Night continues with its eleventh instalment Revealed. Written in alternating view points P.C and Kristen Cast continue from where they left off in Hidden and showcase the main...
Robert Irwin Dinosaur Hunter series. Random House, 2013. ISBN
(Age: 6-12) In this lavishly illustrated book, Robert Irwin has put together a wealth of facts and figures and other fascinating tidbits about his favourite things - dinosaurs. Son of...
Chicken House, 2013. ISBN 9781908435927.
(Age: 12+) Romance. Ghosts. Scotland. Ivy Calhoun has moved to a cold castle in Scotland. Her mother has married the local laird and she is beset with unfamiliar things, not the least a gorgeous ghost, Logan, who has haunted the castle grounds for...
Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742837420.
Zippy Zoe by Susannah McFarlane
Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 978174283 8847.
(Ages 4+)Little Mates series. Alphabet books, Australian animals. Yum Yum Yoshi, the yellow bellied glider...
Atom, 2012. ISBN: 9781907411120.
Written in first person in alternating view points this tenth instalment in popular paranormal romance series A House of Night is packed with all the drama that comes with being a teenager and more! Confusing without background, this novel is...
ABC Books,2013. ISBN 9780733331176.
(Age: Suitable for Middle School students aged 10-15 years) Highly recommended particularly for students of History and Japanese. Yoko's diary was first published in Japan in 1996, but this is the first English translation. Yoko wrote her diary each...
Harper Collins, 2013. ISBN: 9780732296841.
(Age: Secondary) Sarah Ayoub has created an engaging plot line that speaks to relevant issues in the lives of Australian Teenagers. This was a quick read, which I didn't want to put down.
Written in the first person, seventeen year old...
Ill. by Sarah Davis. Photographer Cath Muscat. Walker Books, 2013.
(Age: 6-10) Highly recommended for crafters from 6-10 years. Themes: handicraft, collections, sewing, gifts, recycling, up-cycling. This absolutely gorgeous craft book is a companion volume to the wonderful Violet...
Ella Bella ballerina series. Orchard Books, 2012. ISBN
(Age: 4-6) Ella Bella is really excited about the surprise party that her ballet teacher, Madame Rosa has prepared for the class. There is a large Christmas tree on the stage beside Madame Rosas special music...
Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 9781408842522.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Animals. Non fiction. An attractively bound large hard back book presents information about a range of animals sure to whet the appetites of younger readers. The opening double page explains what is meant by some specific...
Aussie Notables series. Green Barrow Publishing, 2013. ISBN
(Age: 10+) Dame Nellie Melba's success transcended the confines of the world of opera. Like Dame Joan Sutherland, her name was known to most Australians regardless of their musical tastes because they...
Ill. by Heath McKenzie. IP Kids, 2011. ISBN 9781921479892. Ebook
The inspiration for this book could have been the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which begins 'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways' because it is an ode to the pleasures and delights of the...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857532947.
Set in London on the eve of the First World War, the close, loving family comprising five year old Alfie, his mother Margie and father Georgie is warmly presented in the introduction to this story. These are simple people with limited expectations...
Random House Australia. Tamarind Imprint, 2013. ISBN 9781848530751.
(Age: 3-5) Highly recommended. Like many other little people around this time of the year, Beena (known to her family as Jellybean) is so excited about starting school and has been looking forward tremendously to...
Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743313671.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Australia, Travel, Geography. Subtitled, From the beach to the bush and more, this smaller sized, hardcover book is a reissue of the last six Harvey books; At the beach, In the bush, In the...
Ill. by Adele Jaunn. Little Hare, 2013. ISBN 9781742977164.
Billy the Bitzer heads to the park to look for his bone that he has hidden.But suddenly he finds himself in the company of a lot of other dogs and he gets itchy and twitchy in case someone finds it first.One is a beagle racing...
Ill. by Kieron Pratt. Ford St Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9781925000023
(hardback). ISBN 978192500030 (Paperback).
Highly recommended for young readers from 5 to 10. There were two excellent reasons I was keen to review this latest Riley book. Firstly, after two very happy years living and...
Random House, 2013. ISBN 97808577980502.
(Ages 9+) Recommended. The story is set just after the conclusion of World War II. Four Aussie, outback children, The Caddy Kids, are going about their lives, albeit unusual ones, surviving and awaiting the return of their Father from service....
Text, 2013. ISBN 9781922079770.
(Age: Adult-Senior Secondary) Recommended. Love. Asperger's Syndrome. Don Tillman is a genetics professor who doesn't fit the mould. He never gets past the first date and has few friends. In his quest to find the perfect woman, he writes a 16 page...
Ill. by K.G. Campbell. Candlewick Press, 2013. ISBN
This is a funny laugh out loud story and is highly recommended for younger readers. It is also a beautifully designed book with lovely comic book style illustrations with each alternative chapter presented in comic book...
Ford Street, 2013. ISBN 9781925000078.
(Age: 8-11) 'Is this how all monsters react to humans? Thomas seemed terrified by this thought; what would they think when they found out?'
This book is about many things but what shines through the most is that 95% of the monsters population...
Ill. by Ivan Bates. Koala Books, 2013. ISBN 9781742760728.
(Age: 2+) Recommended. Love. Kindness. Caring. Read aloud. Hansie's dad always says 'There, there, Hansie Bear' and gives him a hug whenever he hurts himself. When he walked like a duck and fell into a ditch, Dad was there,...
Ill. by Kim Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781741758870.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Picture book, Tashi series, Dragons. Those hooked by the Tashi stories will be equally as excited with this new picture book concerning Tashi's first meeting with a dragon. The familiar little...
Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 9781619631441.
(Age: 15+) Recommended for older teens as there is some explicit content. Child abuse. Self-esteem. Family relationships. Callie has been on the run for years. Stolen by her mother from her father and a large extended family, she has been hidden in...
Bolinda Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9781743153321. Heinemann, 1966.
(Age: 11- adult) Highly recommended. Crime, Australian deserts, Camels. First published in 1966, two years after Upfield's death, this book was completed by J. L. Price and Mrs Dorothy Strange, from the unfinished manuscript...
A & C Black, 2013. ISBN 9781408192979.
(Age: 11+)'Alfred turned slowly to face the center of the clearing. There was the prior's body, mud and blood soaking his clothes, he was lying bent over backwards, held up clear off the ground by a huge lump of rock. But it was not a rock. At...
Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 978 1 74331 642 9
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Crime. Rachel Watts, recently moved to the city after her parents' farm has been taken by the bank, has met and teamed up with a neighbour who also goes to her school, Mycroft. The link between their names is obvious,...
Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Little Hare, 2013. ISBN 9781921541414.
Oh dear. There's a new baby in the house and Caroline Crocodile is not happy that he is soaking up all her mother's attention. Mama Crocodile loves that he is as green as a grub, loves to eat his fish and frogs and has an...
Chicken House, 2013. ISBN 9781906427726.
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. Suitable for older teenagers as it contains some explicit content. Psychological thriller. Murder. Mental illness. Drugs. Emily's father suffers from flashbacks to the time when he was a soldier and he is blamed when...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN: 9781876678395.
Recommended. Subtitled 'Personal and social capability, Ethical behaviour, Intercultural understanding, Numeracy'. This title contains annotated lists of novels to support the General capabilities strand of the Australian Curriculum. In...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN: 9781876678364.
Recommended. Both prolific readers with a passion for high quality children's literature, Fran and Pat have created another 'must have' for every library, time poor teacher and librarian. Their annotated bibliographies have been created with...
Pledger Consulting, 2013. ISBN 9781876678371.
If you have ever thought to yourself I wonder what new quality books I'm missing or I wonder what's available that I can use with my class, then this may be the book for you. From the stable of Pledger Consulting comes another useful...