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

Aug 30 2016

The book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle

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Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406364620
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. A love that lasts for an eternity. A love that started in one world, a world of fairytales, and continued in the world we know. In The book of Pearl, we meet Joshua Pearl. Once, he was Ilian, a prince of the fairytale world until he was banished to our world and separated from his one true love, Olia. In the new world, Ilian is taken in by the Pearls and soon takes on the identity of their dead son Joshua. It is wartime in Europe and it is while he is a prisoner of war that Joshua discovers objects that prove his fairytale world exists. Joshua believes collecting the objects - a mermaid's scale, an archer's bow, a part of his crib and many others - can open a doorway back home. Unbeknown to Joshua, Olia was also banished to our world but she was cursed. She is cursed to only see Joshua but to never be seen by him. Olia becomes his shadow, his guardian angel. Always there helping but never seen.
It is a chance encounter with a 14 year old boy that turns this love story into a story for the whole world to know.
The book of Pearl is beautifully written and translated from French to English. The text is descriptive and emotional and will hook the reader from the start. It will have the reader believing in true love. Several storylines are used to tell the story and it jumps between the past and the present with each chapter. Highly recommended for readers aged 11+ as well as for adults who enjoy a well told story.
Kylie Kempster



More Reviews

Aug 30 2016

Ella Diaries: Worst camp ever by Meredith Costain

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Scholastic Australia, 2016. ISBN 9781760157180
(Age: 6-10) Recommended. School camps. Pranks. Competition. Ella's really excited about going to the school camp. She's looking forward to doing all the activities but is determined to keep writing in her diary. Discovering that Peach Parker...
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Aug 30 2016

44 days: 75 squadron and the fight for Australia by Michael Veitch

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Hachette, 2016. ISBN 9780733633638
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) The story of the Battle of Kokoda has been well told. However, the World War 2 battle in the skies above Port Moresby has not been as well known, until now. Michael Veitch vividly describes the extremely brave men who,...
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Aug 30 2016

Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson and Nick East

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Puffin, 2016. ISBN 9780141365626
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. Space travel. Space. Adventure. An inspiring story about space travel and being an astronaut, this is a book that will inspire young children to reach for the stars. Two little boys get ready for bed and after saying good night to...
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Aug 29 2016

Black by Fleur Ferris

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Random House Australia, 2016. ISBN 9781925324976
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Thriller. Horror. Superstition. Ebony Marshall, known as Black, is desperate to leave Dainsfield, the small country town where she is in her final year of high school. Rumours that she is cursed have followed her...
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Aug 29 2016

Penelope the Mountain Pygmy Possum by Gordon Winch

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New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925059595
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Penelope the Mountain Pygmy Possum is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a pygmy possum. Readers will want to look at the details in the illustrations as they read about Penelope and her...
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Aug 29 2016

Summer days, summer nights: Twelve summer romances ed. by Stephanie Perkins

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Macmillan Children's Books, 2016. ISBN 9781509809899
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Romance. Diversity. This collection features twelve stories, by 12 well known US authors writing for adolescents: Leigh Bardugo, Nina LaCour, Libba Bray, Francesca Lia Block, Stephanie Perkins, Tim Federle,...
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Aug 26 2016

Blueberry pancakes forever by Angelica Banks

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Tuesday McGillycuddy series. Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760110451
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Have you ever wondered where writers get their ideas? Have you ever wondered why stories sound and feel real? Well, Blueberry Pancakes Forever tells us of a world, a magical...
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Aug 26 2016

Our Home is Dirt by Sea poems selected by Dianne Bates

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Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781925081190
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Our Home is Dirt by Sea is a collection of poems written by a variety of Australian children's poets and selected by Dianne Bates. The book is divided into themed chapters and begins with a parody of Advance...
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Aug 26 2016

The ocean of the dead by Andrew McGahan

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The Ship Kings series, bk 4. Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760292188
(Age: Upper Primary and Lower Secondary) Recommended. The Ocean of the dead, the fourth and final book in the series, The Ship Kings, by Andrew McGahan, is worth waiting for. This is a fast paced...
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Aug 26 2016

Wild Pa by Claire Saxby

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Ill. by Connah Brecon. Random House Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780857988003
My Pa is not a quiet Pa,
a sit-and-read-the-news Pa.
My Pa is a Wild Pa -
and Wild Pas are lots of fun

Indeed they are as they chase their grandsons through the dunes in full pirate garb;...
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Aug 25 2016

The stupendously spectacular spelling bee by Deborah Abela

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Random House, 2016. ISBN 9781925324822
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Spelling. Grammar. Words. Competition. With each chapter heading being a new complex word along with its meaning and use in a sentence, the emphasis on words is given an extra boost in this wonderfully charming story...
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Aug 25 2016

Archie Greene and the alchemist's curse by D. D. Everest

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Allen & Unwin Australia (Faber), 2016. ISBN 9780571307418
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Move over Harry, you have a rival for my affections! Somehow or other I missed the first book in this fabulous series (that will need to be redressed ASAP) but no matter, I was able to pick up the...
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Aug 25 2016

Oh, Albert by Davina Bell

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Ill. by Sara Acton. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670078608
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Dogs. Animals. Pets. Family. The front cover and first endpaper show the reader what sort of dog Albert is, and why the title of this luminous picture book Oh, Albert, is said with exasperation....
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Aug 25 2016

The devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson

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Tom Hawkins bk 1. Hodder and Stoughton, 2014. ISBN 9781444775426
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Mystery. Historical crime. The Crime Writers' Association Historical Dagger (2014). It's London, 1727. Tom Hawkins is desperately trying to keep out of the notorious Marshalsea prison for...
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Aug 23 2016

Don't call me bear! by Aaron Blabey

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Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760159849
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour. Koalas. Verse. Assertiveness. With the quotation, 'Do I look like a bear to you?' on the back cover, readers will know they are in for a treat opening Blabey's latest picture book. An array of koalas covers the...
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Aug 23 2016

Bush bolts by Soraya Nicholas

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Starlight Stables series bk 3. Penguin Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780143308621
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Horses. Bushfires. Friendship. Although this is part of a series it can be read as a stand-alone and is sure to appeal to horse crazy girls. Poppy is thrilled to have her...
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Aug 23 2016

Children's illustrated encyclopedia by Carolyn Bingham

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Dorling Kindersley, 2016. ISBN 9780241238905
A few years ago, perhaps in an effort to be seen as a cutting-edge, digital-age facility, many libraries weeded their reference collections, disposing of almanacs, atlases and encyclopedias in the belief that 'everything was now available on...
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Aug 23 2016

Tripping back blue by Kara Storti

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Carolrhoda Lab, 2016. ISBN 9781512403084
(Age: Older teens) Illegal drugs. Family violence. Twins. Being a small scale drug dealer is dangerous but Finn is smart and careful, he enjoys the excitement and he is doing it for a good cause. Finn and his twin sister Faith live in a trailer...
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Aug 21 2016

One half from the east by Nadia Hashimi

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Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780062572196
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This is such a fascinating story. It is about a young girl in Afghanistan whose life undergoes a drastic change, at the age of 10, after the calamity of her father losing a leg in a random bomb blast. With three...
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Aug 21 2016

Burning by Danielle Rollins

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408869956
(Age: Mature 14+) Just before Angela's scheduled release from juvie, THINGS start happening. First, a 10-year-old girl (Jessica) is brought in under high security. Then, a new program called Sci-Girls is causing a major stir among the inmates. There's...
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Aug 21 2016

The hounded by Simon Butters

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Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743053959
(Age: 16+) The black dog is a common metaphor for depression and in the initial stages of this novel, the appearance of one to teenaged Monty seems to indicate exactly that. Monty has an eating disorder, is underweight and has an unnatural lack...
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Aug 19 2016

Game Theory by Barry Jonsberg

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Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760290153
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Thriller. Kidnapping. Jamie loves numbers and one day gives his sister Summerlee a group of numbers that wins her $7.5 million in the lottery. But things do not go well in Jamie's family especially when his...
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Aug 19 2016

Petunia Paris's parrot by Katie Haworth

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Ill. by Jo Williamson. Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760403690
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Birthdays, Macaws, Belonging. Opening the initially very pink and powder blue pages I was quickly taken in by the tale of Petunia Paris and her family. Each year they ask Petunia what she wants...
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Aug 19 2016

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

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Atom, 2016. ISBN 9780349002156
(Age: Teens) A rich and indulgent fantasy, Grey presents a world coloured by fear, despair, and highlighted by the ray of hope that is the Firebird. While this is a great fantasy concept, it seems oddly disjointed, tripping up the reader and making it...
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Aug 18 2016

Figgy and the President by Tamsin Janu

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Figgy series bk 2. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781742991559
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Award winning author Tamsin Janu continues the story of eleven-year-old Figgy who lives with her Grandma Ama in a small village in Ghana. Orphan Nana who lives with them is very concerned about...
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Aug 18 2016

Computer coding games for kids by Jon Woodcock

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Dorling Kindersley, 2016, ISBN 9781740333405
Way back when, in the dawning of the age of home computers which were huge and clumsy in comparison to today's mini-marvels; which ran on cassette tapes; had green or amber font on a black screen and had no facility to display graphics, if you...
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Aug 18 2016

Edge of extinction: It's them or us by Laura Martin

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Edge of extinction series, bk. 1. Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780008152895
(Age: Upper primary, Lower secondary) This absorbing story, set in a future world, is the first in a series and it establishes a momentum that is sure to carry readers along to the final book.
It is...
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Aug 17 2016

Grandpa's big adventure by Paul Newman

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Ill. by Tom Jellett. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670078172
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Grandpas, Swimming, Tall tales, Adventure. The narrator of this delightful story is afraid of the water and cannot swim. Grandpa tells him he must learn to swim if he is have big adventures like his and...
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Aug 15 2016

I spy Dad! by Janeen Brian

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Ill. by Chantal Stewart. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925059649
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Fathers, Father's Day. First published in 2010, this book along with I spy Mum! is a wonderful story to read anytime, but has more resonance around those days remembering...
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Aug 15 2016

Where's Dad hiding? by Ed Allen

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Ill. by Anil Tortop. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760273859
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Fathers, Father's Day, Family. The little bear searches for his father in all sorts of places. He searches the woods, looks out into the fields, under the water, on the beach, in the bus, on the toy shelf,...
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Aug 15 2016

Grandpa is great by Laine Mitchell

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Ill. by Alison Edgson. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760276638
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Father's Day, Grandfathers, Family. With Father's Day just around the corner, it is good to see a book extolling the virtues of grandfathers as well. In this rhyming story each page depicts an animal with...
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Feb 22 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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