Ill. by Mark Wilson. Angus & Robertson, 2015. ISBN 9780732296476
(Age: 8+) Recommended. World War One. ANZAC. Poetry. In his poetic style, Banjo Paterson sent an open letter to the troops as they fought in the war in Europe. Angus & Robertson have published this beautifully illustrated book, setting the poem against Mark Wilson's pictures of the war they faced. Banjo was well known in Australia and many people learnt his poems by rote and could recite them at will. He was revered as a poet who captured the Australian core.
Each stanza of the poem extolling the virtues of a united Australia, is illustrated with aspects of the war they fought and complimented with images of people back home. So we have an image of the men fighting their way up the Turkish hills on Gallipoli's coast, with an image of a poster imploring recently graduated nurses to join up, and a woman watching down on them all, while a man sits on his horse under the Australian sun. Each image represents an aspect of war and home, encouraging younger readers to ponder the lives led by these people. I was struck particularly with the image of men advancing across an open piece of land, contrasting with the women doing their work back home, pulling along the coal trucks. And the nod to Walter Withers, an Australian painter at the time, is wonderful, contrasting the quiet life back home with the men packed and going off to war. Each page is filled with things to look at and ponder, to wonder and respond.
With the vast numbers of books about World War One published at the moment, it is a change to see something written at the time, a poem which underlined the feeling that Gallipoli made Australia, Australia, that it overcame the state loyalties and divisions and made people think of the reason for Federation only fifteen years before. The Anzac heroism gave Australians a reason to be proud. References to poppies, Gallipoli, Simpson and his donkey, Alec Campbell, nurses, women back home, HMAS Sydney and wattle, amongst others, will attract eager readers to look at the images shown and reason why they are included.
Our Australian girl. 1983. Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Puffin,
Recommended for readers from 8-10 years. The Our Australian girl series celebrates the lives of young girls in historically significant times past. Author Alice Pung draws from her own family experiences to...
Book Island, 2015. ISBN 9780994109859
(Age: Preschool) Recommended. Wordless picture book. World view. One blustery day the little dog finds a bright red umbrella in the garden. It whisks him off into the sky, above the swirling leaves and swaying trees, over his little house receding...
Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743314821
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. War, Afghanistan, Animals, Survival. When dog handler, Casey, is killed in the escape after the rescue of three kidnapped doctors in Taliban held Afghanistan, Mark is the only survivor of the attack and is left with...
Sceptre: Hodder & Stoughton, 2015. ISBN: 9781444794533
(Age: 15+) Music. Dystopian fiction. In one word: unusual.
This is a book like no other, or at least any that I've read. Highly experimental (and ironic) The Chimes is set in a futuristic world where society has done away with...
Text, 2015. ISBN 9781922182333
Recommended for 14+. Ilka Tampke's first novel is set in Celtic Britain from 28 AD to 44 AD. The novel is part historical and part fantasy, and deals with the lives of the Celtic tribes living in the east of Britain before and during the Roman invasion. The...
Woolshed Press, 2014. ISBN 9780857984739
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended.
'Perry has a brain condition that can cause him to feel anxious or upset in different places and circumstances. He has trouble with people - mixing with them and communicating with them - and sometimes results...
Text, 2015. ISBN 9781922182685
(Age: Adult) Set in an England that has been stricken by drought this first novel by Catherine Chanter looks at the effects of deprivation and cultism on a family seeking a change of life. The novel begins with the main character Ruth on house arrest at...
Through my eyes series. Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Syria, Dictatorship. When Zafir and his family move back to Syria, Zafir has little idea of what life will be like. He has been brought up in Dubai where he has mixed with a range of...
An Embassy Row novel. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN: 9781743628942
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended.
'The scar that is very real.
The scar that is perfectly clear.
The scar that has haunted my dreams every night since the moment my mother died - from the moment the Scarred...
Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316634
(Age: Yr 7+) Recommended. Clementine Darcy's year 9 philosophy class isn't turning out to be what she expected. The teacher asks the students to simply write, whilst Clementine is hoping for answers to the big questions of life and wants to know...
Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780141361789
(Age: 4+) Well, you all know it goes. You hear so much hype about a book (or a movie, or a theatrical show blah blah blah) that you almost convince yourself that either you won't like it or it will be completely lame.
And, to be honest, that's pretty...
Ill. by Irisz Agocs. Big Hug series. Five Mile Press, 2015.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Internet, Safety. Discussing the dangers that lurk behind using the internet is one of those discussions that is hard to initiate and even more difficult to explain. Here with...
Ill. by Irisz Agocs. Big Hug series. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Playground, Safety. Clinical and forensic psychologist Shona Innes has taken on the topic of safety in the playground at school or in the community, to help parents and teachers...
For more than 25 years now, I have had been in the privileged
position of listening to the very private worries and concerns of
many children. It is indeed a pretty special and sacred
position to be in and I am always grateful for the opportunity. From
that special spot with young people, I...
Ill. Shane Devries. Omnibus, 2015. ISBN 9781742990736
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. War. Village life. Hope. Ricardo lives in a small mountain village in Italy, within a close community. His father teaches him to ride his bike and he can often be seen riding through the village, past the...
Working Title Press, 2015. ISBN 9781921504761
(Age: 9+) Recommended. World War One. Gallipoli. Anzac Day. Memories. Picture book for older readers. From the old style binding to the haunting portraits on the front cover, this impressive book will stand out amongst the books on World War...
Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781775430971
(Age: 6+) Recommended. War. Anzac. Animals. When Lucy's dog has a pup, she calls it Freda, but the family cannot afford to keep her, so Lucy sits with her outside their home until someone comes along to claim her. That person is Sam, a young man going...
Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743319789
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Short Stories, Fantasy. When in 2012, two appalling crimes against women were perpetrated, one in India where a woman was raped and murdered in a bus and the other in Melbourne where a woman was raped and killed walking...