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.
New Member sign up button

Latest Review

Jul 07 2015

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408851302
Suited to 8+ readers. Themes: School; Thinking. I think you have to be young to find this book enjoyable. It is 10+ on the Quirky Scale (which normally is 0-5 in its range). The main characters have incredibly bizarre nick-names, and views on the world. Uncle Gobb seems to be a cross between a dictator within the education system and the world's most unpleasant uncle. The plot is unusual, and chapter headings and non-fiction inserts are also weirdly irregular and sometimes quite far - fetched. The redeeming features are that the book has moments of humour, strange illustrations and unusually it makes a reasonable, although amusing, critique of 'fill in the gaps' worksheets and discipline strategies. This is not as endearing as the Tom Gates or Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, but it may appeal to the eccentric child.
Carolyn Hull

More Reviews

Jul 07 2015

Super Fly by Todd H Doodler

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN: 9781619633780
Themes: Bullying; Comedy; Super - heroes; Insects. Eugene Flystein is the central character in this amusing book written by Doodler (not his real name!). Eugene is starting at the new school in Stinkopolous (on the edge of the city dump). He is not a...
more

Jul 07 2015

The girl is murder by Kathryn Miller Haines

cover image

The Girl is Murder bk 1. Roaring Brook Press, 2011. ISBN 9781596436091
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Mystery. Historical. World War 2 US. Iris Anderson's world has fallen apart. Her father has lost his leg in the attack on Pearl Harbour and has returned home, determined to make a go of...
more

Jul 06 2015

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski

cover image

Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404849
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Friendship. Road trip. Jesse and Vicks are good friends but things seem to be going a little awry as Jesse keeps a big secret from her friend and Vicks can't stop worrying about her boyfriend who has moved to college and...
more

Jul 06 2015

To hold the bridge by Garth Nix

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743316559
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Short stories, Survival. When Garth Nix writes another episode of the Old Kingdom series, every reader will take notice, and this novella which is the first story presented in this large collection of his...
more

Jul 06 2015

I'll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson

cover image

Walker, 2015. ISBN 9781406326499
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Adolescent. Love. Twins. Art. 2015 Michael L Printz award. Josette Frank Award for Younger Readers (2015). ALA Top 10. Jude and Noah are twins and both are obsessed with Art, Jude making wonderful sand sculptures and Noah...
more

Jul 06 2015

Resonance by Celine Kiernan

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743313084
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Fantasy, Dublin 1890's, Historical novel, Angels. The theatre district of late nineteenth century Dublin is the fascinating setting for this fantasy, steeped in the history of the these times. Several young people are...
more

Jul 03 2015

The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black

cover image

Orion Books, 2015. ISBN 9781780621739
(Age: 14 years+) Highly recommended. 'I am a knight. I am a knight. I am a knight...'
In strange Fairfold, a prince sleeps in a glass coffin in the middle of the forest. He had been there since forever, for as long as anyone could remember. He...
more

Jul 03 2015

Triple magic by Karen Wood

cover image

Trickstars series. Allen and Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743319055
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Horse riding. Magic. Family. Perseverance. Ruby is one of three; one third of triplets who live with their mother and grandfather. The girls imagine a life that is more exciting than their poverty...
more

Jul 03 2015

Soul print by Megan Miranda

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408855409
(Age: 13+) Recommended. 'I am Alina Chase - my soul is my own.'
Set in the near future, the world makes the amazing discovery of souls. They can be accessed, they can be studied. Souls never die, they get reborn into new bodies, new identities....
more

Jul 03 2015

Dog and the lost leg by Carlee Yardley

cover image

Walker Books 2015. ISBN 9781925081084
(Age: 5-7) Dog was not feeling well. What could be wrong?
Then Dog's good friend, Fox, noticed that Dog was missing a leg! No wonder Dog could not jiggle!
Dog tried all sorts of other legs as, together, the friends searched for the missing...
more

Jul 03 2015

The really old forest by Cecil Kim

cover image

Ill. by Elsa Huet. Ed. by Joy Cowley. Big & Small, 2015. ISBN 9781925186468
(Age: Yr 2+) Told in a series of letters between penpals Nicole in Australia and Jack in England in the mid 80s, this is the story of the preservation of the Millaa Millaa rainforest in Queensland....
more

Jul 02 2015

Summertime, all the cats are bored by Philippe Georget

cover image

Translated by Steven Rendall. Gilles Sebag bk 1. Europa, 2013. ISBN 9781609451219
(Age: Senior secondary-Adult) Recommended. Mystery. Detectives. France. SNCF Crime Fiction Prize, City of Lens First Crime Novel Prize. Translated from the French language. When a young Dutch...
more

Jul 02 2015

Ducks to water by Brett Avison

cover image

Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2015.
(Ages: 2-7) The product of a New Zealand author and Sydney-based illustrator, Ducks to water is the fourth book in the Bigger Digger series (others are Stuck in the muck, Pigs might fly and A bigger digger)....
more

Jul 02 2015

A trifle dead by Livia Day

cover image

Cafe La Femme Bk 1. Deadlines, 2013. ISBN 9780987216298
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Crime. Food. Tabitha Darling runs a trendy cafe and is always searching for the perfect dessert. She is sick of all the policemen who frequent her cafe and when a musician is found dead in the flat...
more

Jul 02 2015

Samurai vs Ninja series by Nick Falk and Tony Flowers

cover image

Random House Australia, 2015.
The battle for the golden egg. ISBN 9780857986054
The race for the shogun's treasure. ISBN 9780857986368
(Age: Yr 2+) The publisher's blurb for this series says, 'In the Edo Period of Japan, two teams fight for supremacy - the serious...
more

Jul 02 2015

If you find this by Matthew Baker

cover image

Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404528
(Age: 9-11) Grief and loss. Treasure hunts. Bullying. School life. Family life. Grandparents. Prodigies. Nicholas is an eleven year old maths and music prodigy, his inner dialogue is written with musical notations to describe the sounds around him...
more

Jul 01 2015

Finding Monkey Moon by Elizabeth Pulford

cover image

Finding Monkey Moon by Elizabeth Pulford
Ill. by Kate Wilkinson. Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921720734
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Toys, Loss, Determination, Hope. Michael's favourite toy, Monkey Moon, is missing. He never goes to bed without his toy, and determines to look until...
more

Jul 01 2015

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson

cover image

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson
Simon and Schuster, 2015. ISBN 9781471122668
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Adolescent. Coming of age. Friendship. Emily is looking forward to a summer hanging out with her friend Sloane but Sloane just disappears, leaving no trace of where she has...
more

Jul 01 2015

Hard Nuts of History: Wars and Battles by Tracey Turner

cover image

A & C Black, 2015. ISBN 9781472910943
(Age: Middle -Upper primary) Recommended. What did Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale have in common?
The Boston Tea Party! What was it and what could a tea party possibly have to do with a war?
Which French military commander was...
more

Jul 01 2015

Watch This Space: Out to Launch by Colin Thompson

cover image

Random House Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781742756202
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Out To Launch is the first in a new series which will foreseeably be every bit as popular as Colin's previous bestsellers. With his very recognisable acerbic wit and uncanny ability to pinpoint the...
more

Jul 01 2015

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781619633506
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Friendship; Mystery; Adventure; Communism - fiction. Hazel Kaplansky lives during the period post-WWII in the United States when the fear of communism could divide communities, with lies, rumour and innuendo used as...
more

Jun 30 2015

Mr Huff by Anna Walker

cover image

Penguin Viking, 2015. ISBN 9780670078042
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Depression, Mental illness, Childhood fears, Bad hair days. Poor old Bill just can't seem to get rid of the cloud that hangs over his day. Right from the start things go wrong. He loses a sock, his cereal is soggy, he...
more

Jun 30 2015

Bomber by Paul Dowswell

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015 ISBN 978 1 4088 5849 3
(Age: Upper Primary and Lower Secondary) Well recommended. A realistic and grim account of a US crew flying a B-17 bomber to England to support the RAF and then the perilous flights to bomb strategic places in Germany in 1943. Told from Harry...
more

Jun 30 2015

Yes! No. (Maybe . . . ) by Liz Pichon

cover image

Tom Gates bk 8. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN: 9781760153663
(Age: 8-12) Highly recommended. Themes: Family Life; Friendships; School life; Humour. This is another wonderful excerpt from the life and drawings of Tom Gates. The comical illustrations partner well with the text to reveal...
more

Jun 30 2015

88 Lime Street - The Way In by Denise Kirby

cover image

Omnibus Books, 2015. ISBN 9781742991009
(Age: 11-14) Ellen and her family have left their old life behind to move into a new house in a new town, and that means making new friends. When they first see their new house it seems to Ellen something isn't quite right, besides the fact it is...
more

Jun 30 2015

Lara of Newtown by Chris McKimmie

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760112325
Author and Illustrator Chris McKimmie has created another quirky book in his unique style. This is a story of a cat that, after being abandoned by its original owner, discovers new homes encountering some difficulties en route. The story is not...
more

Jun 30 2015

Kerenza by Rosanne Hawke

cover image

A New Australian series. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742990606
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Historical novel, Early settlement, Migration, South Australia. When her father knows that the mine will soon be closed he decides to join his brother in the Mallee in South Australia to...
more