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

Sep 30 2014

Tiger stone by Deryn Mansell

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Black Dog Books, 2014. ISBN 9781742032399.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Kancil is the lowest servant currently serving in Big Uncle's house. Her teak coloured eyes claim that she is the daughter of a bandit and the villagers don't like the Sunda bandits. Born and raised for the first part of her life in Sunda, Java, Kancil and her mother must make a journey from the place where her father and brother died to where Mother's family live in Mataram. 'When you are sworn to silence it pays to keep your eyes and ears open'.
This novel set in 14th century Indonesia looks at a girl dealing with the recent death of her father and the suspicious circumstances occurring in the new village, she hates the idea of calling home. When Kancil arrives in Mataram she is instructed that she must never speak around anyone but Mother and Small Aunt, the slightest slip of the tongue could easily give away the story they had created that allowed them to stay safe with their family. This story is based on the loose friendship between Kancil and Kitchen Boy and how they warn the fellow villagers before it is too late.
Tiger stone
is a fantastic single book, areas and characters are clearly outlined before the story even starts. The author doesn't have to explain everything so the story can move easily without long descriptions of characters or places. The beginning of the book starts with a girl names Aryani saying goodbye to her grandmother who gives her a tiger stone necklace. A time jump occurs (700 years to be exact) and suddenly we are given Kancil's story.
It is extremely difficult to fault this book. It's a great read for people who enjoy historical fiction and for those that don't want to have to commit to a long series. Tiger stone is a book that can easily be devoured in one sitting and I highly recommend anyone to do so.
Azriel P. (Student)

More Reviews

Sep 30 2014

The Billy That Died With Its Boots On by Stephen Whiteside

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Walker Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781922077431.
Stephen Whiteside's collection of Australian rhyming poetry is simple and would probably appeal to junior to middle primary students. Broken into fifteen different sections, the Table of Contents lists themes such as Dinosaurs, Around the House,...
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Sep 30 2014

Let's play by Alborozo

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Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316283.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Picture book, Music, Sounds. In teaching about the orchestra, the conductor asks the children to listen and watch as they play each of the instruments.
The first to be approached is the timpani or 'timps', the percussion...
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Sep 30 2014

How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan

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Hachette, 2014. ISBN: 9781444918113.
Highly recommended for ages 4 and up. This is a manual on how to babysit a grandma, especially if you are sleeping over at her house. Written in black type face are the generic 'rules' on what to consider when you are babysitting your grandma and in...
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Sep 29 2014

The last king of Angkor Wat by Graeme Base

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Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670077151.
(Age: all) Highly recommended. Cambodia, Myths and legends, Elephants. Each of the four animals sitting amongst the ruins of Angkor Wat, a tiger, a gecko, a water buffalo and a gibbon, thinks he would have made a great king of the city, displaying...
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Sep 29 2014

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman

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Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670077427 pbk. ISBN 9781743480717 ebk.
(Age: Yr 4+) Like tens of thousands of other young lads in Australia in 1914, the first shots of what became known as The Great War (fired 100 years ago today), sparked a sense of adventure in fifteen year-old Frank...
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Sep 29 2014

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series by Dav Pilkey

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Scholastic, 2014.
Ricky Ricotta's mighty robot. ISBN 9780545630092
Ricky Ricotta's mighty robot vs the mutant mosquitoes from Mercury. ISBN 9780545630108.
(Ages 4-8) Highly recommended. The first two titles in a series by the creator of Captain Underpants...
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Sep 29 2014

Let's Rock by Sheryl Berk

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Dance Divas bk 3. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781619632240.
For readers from 7-9 years. Themes: Dancing - Contemporary, Ballet, Competition, Friendship
Let's Rock is the third novel in the Dance Divas series by Sheryl Berk. The girls are divas in dancing and some are...
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Sep 29 2014

Friday Barnes: Girl detective by R.A. Spratt

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Random House, 2014. ISBN 9781742759623.
(Ages 8-13) Highly recommended. This is the first title in a new series by the author of Nanny Piggins. Friday Barnes is the youngest child of two scientists, and has been left mostly to her own devices growing up. With an immense IQ and a...
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Sep 26 2014

Figgy in the world: All you need is a plan and courage by Tamsin Janu

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Omnibus Books, 2014. ISBN 9781742990453.
(Age: 9-12) Highly recommended. Africa. Ghana. Poverty. Optimism. Journeys. When Figgy's grandmother becomes ill, she decides she will go to America and find the medicine that she needs. Without further ado, she sets out. She has no idea of life...
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Sep 26 2014

Kitten Kaboodle mission two: The lightning opal by Eileen O'Hely

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Kitten Kaboodle series. Ill. by Heath McKenzie. Walker Books Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781921529948.
Recommended for readers from 8-10 years. Cats. Dogs. Opals. Secret Agents.
Kitten Kaboodle, the feisty top agent for Cat - the Clandestine Activity Taskforce returns for his...
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Sep 26 2014

Sylvia by Christine Sharp

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UQP, 2014. ISBN 9780702253140.
Highly recommended for 4-6 year old readers, parents, families, teachers and all who love to share their love of gardening with young children. Organic Gardening. Snails. Getting Along. Creativity
'Oh, Simon Green, how I pine for your parsley leaves...
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Sep 26 2014

Australian Geographic history (series) by various authors

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They came to Australia: Explorers before European settlement by Joel Weston. ISBN 9781742455129.
A failure to understand: Early colonisation and the Indigenous peoples by Margaret McPhee. ISBN 9781742455136.
Life in colonial Australia: From First Fleet to...
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Sep 26 2014

Emus under the bed by Leann J Edwards

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The Little Big Book Club/ Allen & Unwin 2014. ISBN 9781743313459.
(Age: Early childhood) On Saturdays I visit Auntie Dollo. 'What would you like to do today?' she says. 'Do you want to help me make some feather flowers?' Auntie Dollo has all kinds of feathers. She has feathers from...
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Sep 25 2014

Quest by Aaron Becker

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Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781406357660.
Highly recommended for readers from 7-10 years. Aaron Becker presents the next visual narrative that takes the reader on a new pursuit in Quest. His previous creative wordless picture book that introduced the child characters was...
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Sep 25 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

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Hodder & Stoughton, 2014. ISBN 9781444723038.
Teenage coming of age. Independence. Risk taking. Friendship. In a small town in the USA, the local teens take part in a competition to win a pot of money that will transform their lives. The risks required to win put their own lives at...
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Sep 25 2014

All my kisses by Kerry Brown

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Ill. by Jedda Robaard. ABC Books/ HarperCollins, 2014. ISBN 9780733330711
(Age: Pre-School) Abby the piglet was very kissable. Every night as she snuggled into bed she would be kissed once on the end of her nose, twice on her forehead and countless times on the bottom of her feet. And...
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Sep 25 2014

Paruku the desert brumby by Jesse Blackadder

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ABC Books/HarperCollins, 2014. ISBN 9780733331794.
(Age: Year 3+) Way out in the Kimberley, on the edges of the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts lies Paruku Indigenous Protected Area, some 430,000 hectares of undulating red sand plains, salt pans and occasional dunes with stunted...
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Sep 25 2014

The dawn chorus by Suzanne Barton

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Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9780140839218.
(Age: Preschool - Year 2) Deep in the forest, just as the sun begins to rise, little Peep is woken from his slumbers by the most beautiful song. Stretching his wings and fluffing his feathers he sets out to find out where it is coming...
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Sep 24 2014

The minnow by Diana Sweeney

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Text Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781922182012.
(Ages: 14+) Highly recommended. This is a strange, poignant story of loneliness, loss and grief. We are not given the details of how 14 year-old Tom's (nickname for Holly) parents and sister are swept away in a flood; instead we glean bits of...
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Sep 24 2014

So many wonderfuls by Tina Matthews

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Walker Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781922077516.
Highly recommended for three to five year olds and for Early Years' classes. Themes: Community, Cities, Urban Life, Geography, Poetry. Tina Matthews creative process started from a few pencil sketches of an imaginary town and led her to the...
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Sep 24 2014

The Ratcatcher's Daughter by Pamela Rushby

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Angus & Robertson, 2014. ISBN 9780732297138.
(Age 10+) Recommended. The year is 1900 and the new century starts with the oldest disease - the Black Death.
The year is 1900. Thirteen year old Issy McKelvie leaves school and is forced to take a job at an undertaking establishment....
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Sep 24 2014

Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George

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Bloomsbury Children's, 2014. ISBN 9781408836927.
(Age: 8-10) Themes: Magic, Mythical Creatures, Fantasy, Adventure. Jessica Day George's novel Wednesdays in the Tower is the sequel to Tuesdays in the Castle. In this fantasy novel for eight to ten year old readers, Princess...
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Sep 24 2014

Sexts, Texts & Selfies: how to keep your children safe in the digital space by Susan McLean

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Penguin Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780670077885.
Highly recommended for both parents and teachers. Digital Citizenship is a particular topic for me at present so this book came along in a very timely space. Easy to read with sensible straightforward advice for parents of children from...
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Sep 24 2014

Jam for Nana by Deborah Kelly

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Ill. by Lisa Stewart. Random House Australia Children's, 2014. ISBN: 9780857980014.
Deborah Kelly's first picture book was all ongoing action and riotous colour, and I loved it. This second picture book illustrated by Lisa Stewart is equally delightful but completely different.
A...
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Sep 23 2014

Saving Thanehaven by Catherine Jinks

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Allen and Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743317747.
(Age: Early secondary) Well recommended. This is a creatively constructed, modern tale appealing to young readers who are familiar with the workings of a computer but whose main characters belong to a medieval world. Noble is the main character...
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Sep 23 2014

Sky raiders by Brandon Mull

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Five Kingdoms series. Simon and Shuster, 2014. ISBN 9781471121883.
Well recommended for early secondary students. Sky raiders is the first of five books exploring other realms which are not in our present understanding.
Set initially on Halloween night, Cole, Jenna and...
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Sep 23 2014

I love dogs by Emma Dodd

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Orchard Books, 2014. ISBN 9781408331262.
(Age: 3-5 years) A little girl is looking for the perfect puppy as her new pet and she explores all the options in this picture book. With simple to read rhyming text, she contemplates her options, 'I love spotty, bouncy jumpy, dotty dogs.' Some...
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Sep 23 2014

Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer

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Simon and Schuster, 2013. ISBN 9781481401067.
(Ages 15+) Action. With El Patron dead Matt, a clone is thrust into a position of immense power. This position is the Lord of Opium, dictator of the most powerful territory in the Dope Confederacy. This means that Matt is now the most...
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Sep 23 2014

Intruder by Christine Bongers

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Woolshed Press, 2014. ISBN 9780857983763 (pbk). ISBN 9780857983770 (ebk).
(Age: Yr 6-8) For the three years since her mother's death from cancer, Kat and her dad, Jimmy, have lived a very private life, keeping themselves and their business to themselves, fearing another intervention...
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Sep 23 2014

Crikey and Cat by Chris McKimmie

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Crikey and Cat by Chris McKimmie
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781760110031.
(Age: Pre-school - K) It is such a dark night - so dark, in fact, that all the stars have disappeared from the sky. So what do you do? You gather up Crikey your dog and Cat, hop in your ute, go to the...
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Sep 23 2014

Caesar the war dog: Operation pink elephant by Stephen Dando-Collins

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Random House, 2014. ISBN 9780857981684 (pbk)
(Age: Middle primary) Well recommended. An exciting and realistic adventure story with a chocolate Labrador called Caesar, his handler Ben and a group of Australian Special Forces men on a mission to Tanzania to catch the notorious Zuba, who...
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