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 01 2014

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Voodoo Vultures from Venus by Dav Pilkey

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Ill. by Dan Santat. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9780545630115.
(Ages 7-10) Recommended. Aficionados of the Captain Underpants books will lap up this full coloured graphic novel featuring the inimitable mouse Ricky Ricotta and his amazing Mighty Robot.
Ricky and his Robot are banned from watching TV, having arrived late for dinner for the third time in a week. Fortunately they were honest and obeyed the ban as Victor Von Vulture and his Voodoo Vulture army, currently residing on Venus, decided to relocate to Earth, where the food was better, and chose that night to send a message to all TV screens hypnotising the town's residents.
Ricky and his Mighty Robot realized something was amiss when there was no food in the house, and later discover that all the mice at school were carrying food straight from the cafeteria to the middle of town muttering 'Obey the Voodoo Vultures.'
Ricky decides he must save the town and destroy the Voodoo Schmoodoo 2000, the remote control keeping everyone in Victor's power. With the help of his Mighty Robot, some hot peppers from Mexico and a feather Rick prevails the Voodoo Vultures return to Venus and Victor is sent to jail.
With a Flip-O-rama section, reminiscent of the Captain Underpants books, encouraging readers to animate the final fight sequence and add sound effects, I am sure this book will prove popular with our reluctant readers.
Sue Keane

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Sep 01 2014

Lucky by David Mackintosh

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9780007463039.
(Age: 4+) Recommended, Picture book, Family, Surprises. When Mum tells the boys there will be a surprise at dinner tonight, they cannot wait. Leo and his brother discuss things that have been surprises in the past, and think about...
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Sep 01 2014

Jack by Tony Wilson

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Stuff happens series. Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143308225.
(Ages: 8+) Recommended. Boys' stories, School and home, Humour. Stories about boys, aimed at boys and containing real life stories of their school and home life are rare. Even rarer are those that have readily identifiable...
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Sep 01 2014

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

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Ill. by Robert Ingpen. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922244048.
(Ages: 8 to adult) Recommended. Classic. Responsibility, Family. Pinocchio began its life as a serial published weekly in the Giornale per i Bambini in 1881. The episodes were published together as The Adventures of Pinocchio...
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Sep 01 2014

Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

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Penguin, 2014. ISBN 9780143571070.
This is a sad tale of a young woman who is left alone on the death of her mother and who takes herself to Venice, in 1750, bearing a letter for the man whom she believes is her uncle. The setting is right at the beginning of Carnevale, a celebration of...
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Sep 01 2014

Quincy Jordan by Jen Storer

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Crystal Bay Girls bk 1. Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143307594.
(Age: 10+) Quincy Jordan is an ideal heroine for tweens in middle school but YA readers will also get a kick out of her dramas. Plucked out of her private girl's school in Sydney by her deserted mother looking for a...
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Aug 29 2014

Vanilla icecream by Bob Graham

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Blueback by Tim Winton

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Araminta Spook: Ghostsitters by Angie Sage

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Beetle Bottoms and the eyes in the night by Madison Holroyd, Sarah Hill and Fiona Whyte

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Calypso summer by Jared Thomas

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Emu by Claire Saxby

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Caro was here by Elizabeth Farrelly

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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....
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Aug 28 2014

Iris and Isaac by Catherine Rayner

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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...
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Aug 28 2014

Hokey pokey by Ed Allen

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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...
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Aug 27 2014

Hero 41: Eye of the Gargoyle by Sam Penant

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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...
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Aug 27 2014

Ava Anne Appleton: Catching a wave by Wendy Harmer

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Ill. by Andrea Edmonds. Scholastic Australia: 2014. ISBN 9781743622353.
(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...
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Aug 27 2014

My funny family moves house by Chris Higgins

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Ill. by Lee Wildish. Hachette, 2014. ISBN 9781444918410.
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...
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Aug 27 2014

My Grumpy Day illustrated by Felicity Gardner

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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....
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Aug 27 2014

Butter by Erin Lange

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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....
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Aug 26 2014

New City by Deborah Abela

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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...
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Aug 26 2014

Benji the Buccaneer by Craig Cormick

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Little Rockets series. New Frontier Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781925059052.
(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...
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Aug 26 2014

The legend series by Marie Lu

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Penguin, 2013.
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...
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Aug 26 2014

Florentine and Pig and the Spooky Forest Adventure by Eva Katzler and Jess Mikhail

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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...
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Aug 26 2014

There's a lion in my cornflakes by Michelle Robinson

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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...
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Aug 22 2014

Awe of Mercury by Elon Dann

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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...
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Aug 22 2014

One rule for Jack by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

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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...
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Aug 22 2014

An English boy in New York by T.S Easton

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Hot Key Books 2014. ISBN 9781471401497.
(Age: 13+) While this is the sequel to Boys don't knit there are sufficient explanatory references dotted throughout the story to keep the new reader up to speed.
Having...
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Aug 22 2014

Alice-Miranda in Japan by Jacqueline Harvey

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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...
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Aug 22 2014

Analogue men: a novel by Nick Earls

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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...
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Aug 21 2014

Rivertime by Trace Balla

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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...
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