Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781406350098.
(Age: 3-adult) Highly recommended. Picture book. Freedom. Sanctuary. Journeys. India. Australia. Amnesty International. The simple act of a sparrow pecking at crumbs on the table at a cafe, causes the dog to leap, and an icecream to fall from a grandparent's hand onto the child in her pusher. Edie has her first taste of icecream.
The sparrow has come from India, a place where food is not to be wasted, and being a young bold bird, follows the food on a truck to a ship, and within the cargo hold, the bird hitches a ride to Australia.
The freedom of the sparrow in doing this contrasts vividly with others around the world who do not get that choice, whose journeys are curtailed.
The sparrow finds a new life in Australia, and can now be found at the Botanic Cafe ready to peck at any crumbs that fall, inadvertently setting in motion a series of events which culminates in a simple new experience for Edie.
The bird's flight from India to Australia is beautifully presented, the illustrations carefully planned to showcase each country and contrast the lives led. In India, the sparrow is a truck-stop bird, one that stays around the roadside samosa stall, waiting for any opportunity. In Australia it eats the crumbs from the cafe tables.
Graham's perfect watercolour illustrations show the reader the differences and similarities of both countries, children playing, people serving food, the cafe and the samosa stall. India is presented in detail, the man cooking the samosa in his stall, his wife in the room next door making them, a chair and table outside for customers, with palm trees standing silently behind, the iron roof of the stall held down with bamboo, the scooter drawn vehicle parked nearby, the paintings on the front of the trucks; each detail reminds us of India. And in Australia, the black swans in the park, the Botanic Cafe, grandparents looking after their grandchildren, the Moreton bay fig tree, the eucalypts, show the readers aspects of Australia.
Endorsed by Amnesty International, because 'we should all enjoy life, freedom and safety', parents, readers and teachers all will be encouraged to view the wider picture presented in this story. Discussions around freedom, the right to choose, the right to be safe can be evoked using this story, and many classrooms will use it as the basis for cultural understandings as promoted in the Australian Curriculum.
Viking, 2014. ISBN 9780670078004.
(Age: Yr 4+) 'Abel Jackson had lived by the sea here at Longboat Bay ever since he could remember. His whole life was the sea and the bush. Every day was special, his mother always told him this, but it all became much more precious the day he first...
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408838648
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Araminta Spook- Ghostsitters sees our main character, Araminta, about to celebrate her birthday but her auntie has won a trip of a lifetime to Transylvania leaving Araminta to celebrate alone. When she realises she...
Visible Love Publishing. ISBN 9780987595928.
The mother-and-daughter team of three continue their mission to encourage imaginative play combined with storytelling for young children with this new Beetle Bottoms adventure. The Beetle Bottoms are tiny wee creatures living in your...
Magabala Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922142122.
(Age: Upper Secondary students) Well recommended.
A strong storyline with feisty young indigenous characters buoys this novel along. It's told with candid humour in modern, young adolescents' language; often funny and insightful, with clever...
Ill. by Graham Byrner. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922179708.
(Age: 5-adult) Highly recommended. Picture book. Australian animals. Emu. Nurturing. With an emu peering out at the reader on the front cover, the desire to open the book is nothing short of compelling. From page one with the...
Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922244833.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Journey. Islands. Truanting. Friendships. When Caro wants an adventure she truants from school taking her much younger brother along as well, but all sorts of other people join her escapade, some she does not like or want....
Little Tiger Press, 2010 ISBN 9781848950924.
(Age: 4-6) Recommended. Picture book. Friendship. Another charming story from Rayner, with her distinctive water colours across the pages, is offered in this lovely story of two friends who fall out.
When Iris makes a snow bed it is too...
Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781742836454.
'Aussie edition' Hokey pokey brings a collection of Aussie animals together to sing the traditional song 'The hokey pokey'. Get your child up and dancing with the actions and singing along with the lyrics. Have them investigate the different...
Orchard Books, 2014. ISBN 9781408328286.
(Age: 10-14) Recommended. When Dax Daley cut his tongue on an envelope and sent it off, he didn't realise how much his life would soon change. By licking the envelope he had submitted his DNA to the government and thus exposed himself to...
Ill. by Andrea Edmonds. Scholastic Australia: 2014. ISBN
(Ages: 7-9) Recommended. Wendy Harmer continues the alphabetically aware Ava Anne Appleton series about the family who has packed up and left the security of their suburban home to travel around Australia in...
Ill. by Lee Wildish. Hachette, 2014. ISBN
Mattie Butterfield reports on the chaotic life of her tight knit family chronicling their lives and adding to her extensive Worry List. The family home is bursting at the seams but is moving the best option?
With the arrival...
Lothian Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9780734415448.
(Ages 2 - 10) Recommended. 'Some mornings, Max wakes up happy. Some mornings, Max wakes up hungry. But this morning, Max woke up grumpy.' My Grumpy Day follows a young gorilla called Max as he contends with his day's adventures....
Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781599907802.
(Age: 14+) 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' Edmund Burke
Scottsdale High seems a pretty average high school with the usual groups of teens including those who are popular and those who are not....
Random House, 2014. ISBN 9781742758558.
(Ages: 9-12) Recommended. Beginning with a Diary entry by Griff giving a synopsis of the first book, Grimsdon,is an interesting way of setting the scene for New City which follows the fortunes of the Grimsdon survivors as they leave their...
Little Rockets series. New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN
(Age: 7+) Everyone is fascinated by pirates and so is our main character, Benji. While waiting for the school bus, Benji is given the chance to take a different bus, a bus with a variety of characters and...
Prodigy. ISBN 9780141344096.
Champion. ISBN 9780141351964.
(Age: Teens) Prodigy is a well thought out sequel to Marie Lu's original dystopian tale Legend. With the introduction of new characters and plotlines, it continues the...
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408824399.
(Age 3+) Florentine and Pig were sound asleep on a quiet, still dark night when suddenly they are woken by the most ghostly noise. Is it the sound of the Growling, Prowling Bog Mog? Together they decide to venture outdoors to find it so it will never...
Ill. by Jim Field. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408845608.
(Age: 4+) Recommended, Animals, Humour, Competitions, Family. Seeing a competition on the cornflake packet inspires Eric and Dan to collect the 100 tokens to win a lion. They use all their pocket money to buy the packets from the...
Hot Key Books, 2014. ISBN 9781471401190.
(Ages: 14+ ) Highly Recommended. Survival. Friendship. Gruesome. Deceit. The Spiral is an underground, circular prison that rotates each prisoner one cell to their left each day. This will continue until the prisoner has reached the last cell...
Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus, 2014. ISBN 9781742990330.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family life. When Jack wants to slide out of jobs to do around the home, he has one rule, 'do it badly'. When showering in the morning, he turns on the tap, wets his hair, then walks out...
Random House, 2014. ISBN 9781742757599.
'Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones attends boarding school at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies. A truly positive heroine, she is funny, kind, optimistic and able to solve just about any...
Vintage Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781864711523
Recommended for anyone with a sense of humour.'Do you ever feel like you might have just one more chance to get on top of your life and make things happen?'
Andrew Van Fleet has been a long-distance husband, father and son for some years...
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316337
Highly recommended for around Year 3 upwards. Every now and then a book comes along and you just look at it amazed. This apparent picture book is really a graphic novel that recounts an extraordinary trip along the Glenelg River undertaken by a...
Australia's Great War series. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN
Sophie Masson is to be congratulated for writing about Australians in the Great War without feeling an obligation to open with Gallipoli in 1915. She introduces brothers Louis and Thomas Julian who are French on...
Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857983206.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Deborah Abela obviously greatly admired Johnny Warren,
captain and vice-captain of the Socceroos from 1964 to 1974. Johnny
was involved in the sport for 50 years and Deborah has drawn on his
experiences when writing...
Ill. by Leonie Lord. Hachette, 2014. ISBN 9781408325858.
(Age: 3-8) Recommended. Picture book. School. Learning. Whiffy doesn't know how to hold a pen, he has never been to school. He cannot write his name or count to ten, and when his father tells him it is time for school, his response...
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408825235
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Alan MacDonald is a master of exciting stories that lead the young reader through incredible adventures. In Superhero School, Stan Button dreams of becoming superhero Dangerboy, taking on evil super villains at every...
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316788.
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Conservation, Sustainability, Island life, Adventure. After the first two successful stories of Nim and her island (Nim's island, and Nim at sea) it is a pleasure to read another about this...
Fremantle Press, 2014. ISBN 9781922089823.
(Age: 6-10) Recommended. Chapter book, Aboriginal themes, Early learning, Western Australia.
Four short stories, first published by May L. O'Brien in 1994 have been collected together to contribute to the growing store of literature about...
Puzzles and illustrations by Terry Denton. Allen & Unwin, 2014.
(Age: Middle primary and adults) Highly recommended. This is a new to me series by the ever reliable Ursula Dubosarsky. This is a funny mystery when Alberta receives a coded letter from Coco to come...
Hot Keys Books, 2014. ISBN 9781471402616.
Recommended by readers 12+. Imogen Rossi's A Painted War, the conclusion to The Last Apprentice series illustrates a Renaissance like no other. With magical paintings and a paintbrush-turned-key, this novel puts a spin to a classic...
EJ12 bk 18. LemonFizz Media, 2014. ISBN 9781921931666.
Recommended for readers from 8-10 years of age. Emma Jack's eighteenth mystery adventure takes the SHINE Stars off to Italy. Famous statues are mysteriously being targeted, stained with black paint and the combined skills of...
Graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell. Ill. by Kevin Nowlan, P.
Craig Russell, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill
Thompson, Stephen B. Scott. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN: 9781408858998.
This graphic version of the very popular Graveyard Book covers the first half of the...
Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857982056.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Belinda Murrell is an accomplished Australian writer of teen fiction and the Lulu Bell series for younger readers. The Sequin Star is one of several stories that she has written that involve a journey...
Ill. by Tony Flowers. Random House Australia Children's, 2014.
Billy is a Dragon: Shadow Shifter. ISBN: ISBN 9780857983152.
Billy is a Dragon: Eaten Alive. ISBN: 9780857983176.
Billy is back with two more exciting adventures for newly independent readers. When Billy was bitten...
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316511.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Crime, Thriller, Melbourne, London, Sherlock Holmes. When Rachel Watts hears her boyfriend, Mycroft has boarded a plane for London, accompanying the forensic investigator, Dr Walsh, she is devastated. She knows...
Woolshed Press, 2014. ISBN 978857984739
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Disability. Cancer. Twins. Journeys. Canada. Using their inheritance for a trip to Vancouver with her twin brother, Justine opens her father's diary to read on the plane. Her brother is in his seat on the other side...
Black Dog Books, 2014. ISBN 9781742032429.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Journeys. Moving house. Refugees. When ten year old Maddy is told by her parents that they are moving to the small country town called Plenty because her grandmother is becoming less able to cope by herself, she is...
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781472904492.
Recommended.(Age 10+ for good readers; or 13+ for those who struggle to read. Will be enjoyed by male readers, does not patronise young readers.) Vikings. Quest fiction. Adventure. Historical fiction. Time travel.
This is the first book I have...
Ill. by Brian Lovelock. Walker Books Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781922077301
Young readers will love this onomatopoeic picture book that takes them on a journey filled with construction as a library is being built. From the award-winning duo Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock, this book is...