Simon & Schuster, 2014. ISBN: 9781471128097.
(Age: Senior students - Adult) The Silversmith's Wife is set in the late eighteenth century London and follows the intricacies of a crossed web of lovers which begins to untangle only with the brutal murder of the Silversmith, Pierre Renard. Found by the night watchman his murder is dismissed as a petty theft, unworthy of serious investigation, however, by request, Digby agrees to look further into the death. He makes many discoveries about the man Pierre Renard however the crucial titbit, the culprit, remains a mystery to Digby.
The Silversmith was a cruel man to his wife who had been pushed into the marriage by her family and in the process has lost all that was dear to her, including her spirit. The portrayal of women from this time is always with a differential approach, this novel is no different making out the Silversmith's wife to be of little worth, a trophy of sorts and unable to be trusted in business.
Interspaced with journal entries written by Pierre Renard himself and broken by accounts from those involved in the investigation and in his previous life the mystery of his murder is slowly uncovered as the complicated web of his affections unravels. Historical drama is the easiest description to apply to this novel and despite being classed as an adult novel I would recommended for seniors with an interest in eighteenth century life. The adult themes present, such as rape and murder, are portrayed mildly enough for senior students. Some crass words have been implemented throughout the novel for effect.
Ill. by Cheryl Westenberg. NLA Publishing, Australia, 2013. ISBN
Picture book. The subject of monsters in the night has often been explored in children's picture books. Some aim to allay fears while others offer strategies to ward off monsters to parents and...
Hybrid Publisher, 2013. ISBN 9781925000207.
Described as 'Truthful and hard hitting' this book is an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at the ingredients of success. It is sold as the product of 'thousands of studies and decades of research'. Yet it all seems so familiar and reminds me of...
Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781742836706.
(Age: 10+) What looks like a pirate, talks like a pirate and lives on a pirate ship in the middle of Freak St? The Piratesons of course! It is another instalment of weird and wonderful families in the Freak St series. Meet the...
Ill. by Kerry Millard. Wilderness Fairies bk 1. Penguin
Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780143307464.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Fairies. Australian bush. Flowers. Daisy, a little fairy living in the Australian bush, is named after the Golden Everlasting or Paper daisy. She is eagerly waiting...
Bird by Crystal Chan
Text Publishing 2014. ISBN 9781922147707.
(Ages: 11+) The narrator is 12 year-old Jewel who lives with her parents and grandfather in a small town in Iowa, USA. Her older brother, who she never knew, jumped off a cliff at the age of five, thinking he could fly....
Harper Collins, 2013. ISBN: 9780732292997.
(Age: Adult) This is an adult novel and unsuitable for senior high school students as it contains an abundance of vulgar language and adult themes.
Set in convict Australia over the period of 1830-1831 this novel follows the story of three...
Ill. by Max Berry. Meet series. Random House, Australia,
2014. ISBN 9780857981929.
Recommended. The Meet series of picture books appear to be a response to the addition of History to the Australian curriculum recognising the contributions of significant historical...
Penguin, 2014. ISBN 9781922147752.
Highly recommended for readers from 11 years of age. Themes: Steampunk Fiction, Detectives, Orphans, London - England - History, Adventure stories, Detectives, Technology - fiction, Mysteries. Darrell Pitt's exciting new Steampunk series introduces...
Ill. by Gabriel Evans. Walker Stories series, Walker Books Australia,
2014. ISBN 9781921720635.
(Age: 5+) Recommended, Snails, Gardens. Annie is looking around the garden to find some snails. She loves them and wants to collect some to be her pets. She plays snail trails with her younger...
Doubleday, 2013. ISBN 9780857532947.
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. War, Home front, Shell shock. The day Alfie turns five is the day war starts in Europe. Alfie will never forget it and even though his family and a few neighbours celebrate that night, he will not celebrate another...
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781742317679.
(Age:10+) Recommended. War, Holocaust, Japan. As director of the Holocaust Museum in Tokyo, Fumika Ishioka wanted to have something tangible to present to the children who visited. She asked far and wide and only Auschwitz sent a box of...
Ford St, 2014. ISBN 9781925000313.
(Age: 9+) Recommended. World War One, Villers-Bretonneux, Diggers, Picture book. The first of many such books to be published in 2014 and 2015, for the one hundred years anniversary of the beginning of World War One, and one hundred years since the...
Do you dare? series. Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143308010.
1931 is a scramble through the mean streets of Melbourne's Fitzroy as seen through the eyes of Max, aged about eleven. It is two years into the Great Depression and unemployment is hitting Australia's working-class families...
Faber, 2013. ISBN 9780571294404.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Obesity. Bullying. Suicide. YALSA 2013 Teens' Top Ten titles, Telegraph's Top 10 YA books 2013. Butter is a lonely, extremely overweight boy who is ignored at school. Although he is a very talented saxophone player, Butter...
A & C Black, 2014.
Lost in the Desert of Dread. ISBN: 9781472907493.
Lost in the Jungle of Doom. ISBN: 9781408194652.
(Age 10+) Themes: Survival, Deserts, Rainforests. The Lost Series by Tracy Turner focuses on survival in four of the most...
Walker Books, 2013. ISBN 9781406336115.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. War. Resistance. While his English mother and his sister, Constanza lie awake at night waiting for him to come home, Paolo cycles into Florence from their home, avoiding the many pitfalls that lie in wait for unsuspecting...
Penguin, 2013. ISBN: 9780141347332.
(Age: 15+) Ruta Sepety's second novel takes us to the French quarter of 1950's New Orleans. Amidst the crime and corruption, we meet Josie Moraine, the daughter of a prostitute, who has grown up no stranger to brothel life, but who dreams of more....
Ill. by Peter Carnavas. UQP, 2014. ISBN 9780702250095.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour, Family relationships, Love. Some nannas dress in punk, some in blue, but this one dresses in black, setting the scene for this funny tale of difference. Each page gives a familiar scenario for a nanna,...
Macmillan Children's Books, 2013. ISBN: 9780330529761.
Goddess by Josephine Angelini is a fantasy novel that is the third and final book in a trilogy about the extravagance of the Greek gods. Helen is a young woman who is a daughter of the powerful Zeus and sister of the beautiful...
Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143307679.
Set in the Stone Age, this novel considers how ancient people were able to migrate to the land mass referred to as Sahul (comprising Australia and New Guinea), the coastlines of which extended much further and which have significantly altered with the...
Ill. by Amanda Francey. New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781921928611.
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Humour. Jonathan loves to dress up and scare his family. He tries his dad and mum and his sister, but they all tell him the same thing, 'Not scary, Jonathan'. Disappointed, he leaves the...
HarperCollins, 2013. ISBN 9780732295189.
(Age: 13+) How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You by Tara Eglington is a fantastically relatable novel that deals with issues such as cyber bullying, heartbreak, insecurity, romance and friendship. The way Tara Eglington writes this...
Ill. by Daniel Howarth. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408194645.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Animals. Baby animals. Within a question and answer format on each double page, this book shows many animals and their offspring. The first few pages give information about animals growing up, and how...
IpKidz, 2009. ISBN 9781921479182.
Lily and Amanda live in a very tall house made of purple bricks - it is so tall that it sways in the wind! Each day, they walk to school through the park and the path passes beneath a tree with beautiful draping branches that makes them giggle and puts...
Penguin Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670076000.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Sibling rivalry. Family. All children will see through the antics of Spalding as he tries to deal with the advent of a new brother, Bunny. Spalding has been the only child for quite some time, used to getting his own...
Penguin Books, 2013. ISBN 9780141348872.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Spells. Homosexuality. New York. Stephen is used to being invisible. Even his parents couldn't see him. Living alone in a flat in New York, he manages to survive. Then new tenants move into the apartment upstairs and he...
Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781849397803.
(Age: All ages) 'Look, Mr Wuffles, a new toy!' But with that look of disdain that cats have, Mr Wuffles stalks past the new toy and all his old toys - his mind is focused on playing with a tiny spaceship he has spotted! Turning it this...
Ill. by Aaron Pocock. Digital Future Press, 2013. ISBN
9780987274045. ebk ISBN 9780987274052.
Bailey has moved to a new school and he HATES it. He drags himself around the house getting ready feeling worse and worse as the time to leave gets closer. He has a real dose of the blahs. Even...
Ill. by Freya Blackwood. Little Hare, 2014. ISBN 9781921714764.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. A perfect tale of acceptance, sees Cartwheel coming to Australia from Africa, where she and her Aunt were unsafe. In her new country she often hides under her old blanket, a large, warm blanket...
Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Our Australian Girl. Puffin, 2014.
(Age: 8+) Australian History, Depression, Poverty, Melbourne. When Daisy's widowed father loses his farm, he must send his girls to Melbourne to live with their Aunt May and Uncle Berty, while...
Angus&Robertson, 2013. ISBN 9780732297633.
(Age: 12+) Recommended, Drought, Future, Dystopia. With the world a dust bowl and everyone taking shelter as soon as the siren warns of a coming dust storm, George and his small brother don their dust masks, and go to the bathroom, the most...
Ill. by Staz Johnson and Adrian Roots. Usborne, 2013. ISBN
(Age: 9+) Recommended, Spies, War. Chapters about spying in all of its forms, are given in this easy to hold, easily read book. From an historical perspective to the modern day, reasons why nations and people spy...
Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9780141344034.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Mila has a gift. She can read people and rooms like novels, and she can tell if you're upset, or hiding a secret, or if you're pregnant.
When Mila and her father go on a holiday to America to catch up with her father's old...
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408851586.
(Age: Year 10+) The eyecatching cover of Brian Conaghan's novel displays the warning 'Contains very strong language. Not for younger readers' but the language comes from 16 year old Dylan Mint's spontaneous Tourette syndrome outbursts and does not...
Ill. by Heath McKenzie. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781921529931.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Chapter book, Humour, Animals, Crime. Misty is walking down a dark alley when surprised by a gang of ferocious dogs. Kitten Kaboodle comes to the rescue. After all a pampered kitten is not match for...
Tales of the Blue Jade series, bk 3. Omnibus Books, 2013.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Dillen, along with his trustworthy companions, Koto and Tajni, are on a quest to capture the brilliant blue jade. To obtain the fantastic jewel, they must seek the advice of a...
Giramondo Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9781922146366.
Recommended age: 13+. The summer that Michael turns fifteen, his beloved brother Dom is killed in a car accident. But this is not a novel that dwells on grief; it is a novel about Michael's growth as a teenager, and a novel that lets us...