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

Jul 09 2020

Use your noodle by Sarah Brazier

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Little Steps Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925839517. Unpaged.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Sarah Brazier and colour-loving illustrator Andrew Hopgood create a factional text about the brain that looks and feels more like a picture book. The author uses Tom and Emma to demonstrate dual workings of our brain, ideal for shared reading. We are introduced to Mind, who never shuts up. He's the noisy, sensing, colourful, feeling and reactive one. For a friend, his behaviour can certainly cause us a lot of anxiety and embarrassment. Hopgood's flesh tone rendering of Noodle however, shows us the bland, contemplative, reasoning brain, who helps us to choose to be awesome. Hopgood aids young readers by highlighting awesome words and instructions. When Tom and Emma are challenged by their irrational feelings, they allow Mind's "fight or flight" reflexes to take over. To be their best selves, both are advised to consult Noodle and analyse each situation before making rash decisions. The delightful thing about Use your noodle is not to denigrate our amazing emotions with unique thoughts and experiences. But Brazier wants us to consult someone else, a different inner self, aka Noodle, and that makes all the difference.
It is not surprising that the hat tip to both academic and spiritual thinkers concludes the book, since the takeaway is to balance our "two" brains, making sure that Noodle has the time to convince us of the best outcome. But the message doesn't end there with the absolutes of neuroscience - the most important message is saved for last . . .
"There is only one special you. Only you have your mind and your noodle. No one will ever know exactly what you are thinking, and you won't know what someone else is thinking. So try not to worry about what others do. Just treat other people as you would like them to treat you."
Fans of Hey warrior by Karen Young, will think this instructional text ugly by comparison, but Use your noodle targets all young readers, and many adults too, whose compulsions are not restricted to clinical anxiety.
Deborah Robins



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Jul 09 2020

Eddy Popcorn's guide to parent training by Dee White

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Illus. by Benjamin Johnston. Omnibus, 2020. ISBN: 9781743834022. 211p.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Eddy is not happy to be grounded and missing the first days of the school holidays, when he should be hanging out at the local beach with his mates. The teacher has contacted his parents to...
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Jul 09 2020

Fabio the world's greatest flamingo detective: Peril at Lizard Lake by Laura James

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Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781408889374. 128pp., pbk.
In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives Fabio, the world's greatest flamingo detective. He's not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he's very, very clever.
Most of the time. But when an unusual lapse of judgement...
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Jul 08 2020

The other passenger by Louise Candlish

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Simon and Schuster, 2020. ISBN: 9781471196461.
(Age: Senior secondary/Adult) Highly recommended. Louise Candlish weaves an absorbing tale of deceit, love, greed and duplicity in this wonderful thriller. The reader is taken on a ride where the characters need your sympathy one minute and...
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Jul 08 2020

7 steps to get your child reading by Louise Park

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Illus. by Nene May Pierce. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760524678. 256pp., pbk.
As the new school year approaches there is great excitement for new students as well as their parents as one of the biggest milestones in their lives approaches. And for the little ones, no matter...
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Jul 08 2020

Scientists who changed the world series by Anita Croy

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EK Books, 2020. 64pp., hbk.
Charles Darwin ISBN: 9781925820706.
Rachel Carson ISBN: 9781925820690.
Sir...
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Jul 07 2020

You are positively awesome: Good vibes and self-care prompts for all life's ups and downs by Stacie Swift

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Pavilion, 2020. ISBN: 9781911641995. 144pp., hbk.
One of the greatest concerns of this pandemic that has engulfed the globe is the mental health of those who have been in lockdown for some time. Humans are sociable creatures, particularly our young folk who haven't yet developed the...
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Jul 07 2020

Cinders and Sparks series by Lindsey Kelk

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Illus. by Pippa Curnick. HarperCollins, 2019-2020
Magic at midnight. ISBN: 9780008292119.
Fairies in the forest. ISBN: 9780008292140.
Goblins and gold. ISBN: 9780008292171.
Cinders...
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Jul 07 2020

Lottie Perkins: The ultimate collection by Katrina Nannestad

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Illus. by Makoto Koji. ABC Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780733340987. 240pp., pbk.
Charlotte (you can call me Lottie) Perkins is an exceptional child - well, that's her belief anyway. She has a range of talents - each different in each story - but most of all she has drive, determination and a...
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Jul 06 2020

Alphabetical Tashi by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

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Tashi. Illus. by Kim Gamble, Arielle Gamble and Greer Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760525293. 80pp.
(Age 3+) Highly recommended. An excellent book to introduce Tashi to newly independent readers and for younger children to learn the alphabet, Alphabetical Tashi...
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Jul 06 2020

Tashi : The book of magnificent monsters by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

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Illus. by Kim Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760525217. 248pp.
(Ages: 6 - 9) Recommended. This collection of Tashi stories links together eight fantastic tales about monsters. Among them are Baba Yaga, Demons and a Chimera (part lion, part goat and part serpent). All the...
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Jul 06 2020

My first Tashi colours by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

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Illus. by Kim Gamble, Arielle Gamble and Greer Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760877323.
(Age: 0+) Highly recommended. The very popular Tashi is introduced to the young child in this book which teaches about colours. With the words In this world of magic and mystery, you can...
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Jul 06 2020

My first Tashi 1, 2, 3 by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Feinberg

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Illus. by Kim Gamble, Arielle & Greer Gamble. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760525286.
(Ages: 1-3) Counting book. Many older readers know and love the vivid illustrations and characterisation of Tashi, but this is an early introduction for the very youngest of readers. The...
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Jul 03 2020

When rain turns to snow by Jane Godwin

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Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9780734420053.
(Ages: 12+) Highly Recommended. When Rain Turns to Snow by Jane Godwin is a thought-provoking and contemporary upper middle grade novel. On a cold, rainy night thirteen year old Lissa is home alone when young teenager Reed appears at her door....
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Jul 03 2020

Puffin Little Cook : Snacks

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Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781760897000. 96pp.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. A flick through this compact book brought me to a stop with a recipe for little pea frittatas which sounded very easy to make, and very delicious. More skimming through found a recipe for Anzac...
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Jul 03 2020

Abigail and the restless raindrop by Matthew Cunningham

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Illus. by Sarah Wilkins. Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9780143774495.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. One rainy day Abigail has a big question. She asks her mother where the rain comes from. She is told it comes from the clouds, and yes she says but how does it get there. Mum explains with the story...
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Jul 02 2020

Date me Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

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Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241435267.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. What starts off as a seemingly lightweight story about a silly school dare turns into a moving description of a teenager's gradual development into a trusted and accepting gay relationship - a first time...
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Jul 02 2020

The secret cave by Anh Do

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Wolf Girl book 3. Allen and Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760876371.
(Ages: 8+). Highly recommended. The secret cave is the third exciting instalment in the Anh Do series about a young girl, Gwen, her pack of dogs and new member Rupert who are fighting for survival in a dystopian...
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Jul 02 2020

Sneaky shadows by SC Manchild

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Illus. by Sam Caldwell. Berbay Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9780648529163.
(Age: 4+) The bright end papers will alert the reader to the play which lies within, as two penguins stand on each other, with arms extended up, making their shadow more like a rabbit, and underneath they have their...
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Jul 02 2020

Camp by L.C. Rosen

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Puffin. UK. 2020. ISBN: 9780241428252. 368p.
(Age: 15+ ) LGBTQ Romance. Camp Outland is a summer camp expressly for gay teens. Subtitled, Top or bottom? It's time to bunk up, Rosen's euphemisms are as lewd as they are plentiful. The central problem arises when a Masc (masculine)...
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Jul 01 2020

Living on stolen land by Ambelin Kwaymullina

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Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925936247.
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Highly recommended. In these days of the Black Lives Matter campaign and discussions of white privilege, this book is a highly relevant reminder of Australia's violent settler-colonial history and the ongoing...
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Jul 01 2020

In her own name : A history of women in South Australia from 1836 by Helen Jones

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Wakefield Press, 2020. ISBN: 9781743056981.
Recommended. Helen Jones first published this remarkable book in 1986, with a second edition published in 1994, and this third edition published in 2020. The book has grown over those years and this current edition is a large paperback of 387...
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Jul 01 2020

All about friends by Felicity Brooks

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Illus. by Mar Ferrero. Usborne, 2020. ISBN: 9781474968386. 32pp., hbk.
It can be fun to spend time by yourself, You can play whatever you want and you don't have to share your toys or your snacks . . .
But what every one of us has learned over the isolation of the last few months is...
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