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

Feb 21 2019

Feminism is... by A. Black et al.

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DK, 2019. ISBN 9780241228029.
(Age: 14+) Highly Recommended. Non fiction. Feminism is... follows on the heels of the recently published Feminists don't wear pink and other lies - a collection of feminist essays edited by Scarlett Curtis. Both books consolidate the concept of intersectionality but Feminism is...takes the form of a lively reference book. It might be a contradiction in terms, but familiar frames for lucid explanations reward every page turned. The thought-provoking topics form double page spreads within each section, including a handful featuring key historical identities. Each topic fans out across the gutter to engage with stylized diagrams, bold boxed headings and a monochrome photo.
It's a ready reference with all the accessible features plus a directory, glossary and index. Textbook sized, the topics are classified into broad sections: A political and social movement, Body and identity, Relationships and families, Education and work and Culture and society. The simple language explains complicated academic concepts and the spectrum of topics range from 'No Means No' to 'Feminism and Sex Work.' A further delight is that every topic gives equal weight to the opposing views of different schools of feminist thought.
Like its counterpart, the gambit of feminism is linked by a central idea - that intersectionality is at the heart of feminism. Feminism cannot exist in a vacuum. The majority of humankind identify with or belong to more than one marginalized and exploited group. Feminism champions equal rights for everyone who is a victim of patriarchal institutions - in reality that means fighting for as many men (of character) as women. The media, legal system, education and religion are the pillars supporting tyranny of a privileged system that filters through family, language, work, politics, culture and sexuality.
Feminism has evolved. The book may be aimed at youth, but it provides everyone with access and clear understandings of hitherto complex academic theories. Secondary schools should stock a feminist reference book so thoroughly executed, if only for the simplest definition proposed by Gemma Cairney in the foreword: 'It's a hopeful term to associate ourselves with - it means you believe in human rights'. As a result, Cairney was invited to take part in the 'My Life in Objects' series for The Pool. Meet her online on YouTube.
Deborah Robins



More Reviews

Feb 21 2019

Show stopper! by Shamini Flint

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Ill. by Sally Heinrich. The Susie K Diaries. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760523701.
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Themes: Science. Performing arts. Life skills. Problem solving. Shamini Flint's The Susie K Diaries are an engaging series with a one of a kind protagonist....
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Feb 21 2019

Lost by Tracey Unthank

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Little Steps Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9781925545937.
(Ages: 3-6) Themes: Penguins. Antarctica. Homes. A young emperor penguin named Fluffy lives in Antarctica with his mum and dad. Fluffy loves to play hide and seek with his friends Angel and Jet. One stormy day Fluffy ignores his mum and...
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Feb 21 2019

Lift-the-flap Engineering by Rose Hall

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Ill. by Lee Cosgrove. Usborne, 2018. ISBN 9781474943659.
Highly recommended for your STEM collection. "Engineering is not just about engines. Engineering means designing, testing and making all kinds of useful things. To do this, engineers use mathematics, science, and - above all -...
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Feb 21 2019

Fairy stories for little children by Lorena Alvarez and Susanna Davidson

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Usborne, 2018. ISBN 9781474951784.
This selection of five well-loved fairytales - Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and The Princess and the Pea - has been lovingly recreated in words and pictures...
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Feb 19 2019

Malala, my story of standing up for girls' rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

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Wren and Rook. ISBN 9781526361592.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Auto-biography. The extraordinary true story of the Pakistani girl who stood up for girls' rights to education and was shot by the Taliban is now available in a new publication for a younger audience, so that they too...
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Feb 19 2019

How to raise your grown-ups by Lauren Child

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Hubert Horatio, Book 1. HarperCollins Children's, 2018. ISBN 9780008264086.
'These stories are about the days when the Bobton-Trents had it cushy, very cushy indeed.' The Bobton-Trent seniors certainly know how to make the most of their extravagant wealth - socialising, doing...
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Feb 19 2019

The ruin of kings by Jenn Lyons

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Tor Publishing 2018. ISBN 9781509879496.
(Age: Adult) Fantasy. In a world with eight goods, magic, music, and plenty of brothels, Khirin's life changes forever when he robs the wrong house. Discovered as a long lost heir (and plenty else over the course of the novel), he must fight to...
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Feb 19 2019

The wellness puzzle by Andrew Jobling

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Rockpool Publishing, 2019. ISBN 9781925682816
(Age: Adult) Non-fiction. Ex-footballer and fitness professional, Andrew Jobling has drawn on his experience researching the essential criteria for a healthy life and has come up with 7 interlocking pieces to the puzzle, which he sets out in...
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Feb 19 2019

Cherries by Carrie Gallasch and Sara Acton

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Little Hare, 2018. ISBN 9781760128593.
As soon as the blossoms appear on the cherry tree in Spring, the children are eager to pick the fruit. But, "It's not time yet." As the weeks pass and the cherries develop, the children indulge in all sorts of outdoor pastimes, but "it's not time...
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Feb 18 2019

Katherine Johnson by Ebony Joy Wilkins

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Ill. by Charlotte Ager. DK Life Stories. DK; Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN: 9780241358580.
(Age: 8 - 13) Highly recommended. Themes: Biography; Katherine Johnson; Mathematicians; Space; NASA; STEM; Discrimination. Katherine Johnson may not be well known to Australian readers,...
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Feb 18 2019

The amazing adventures of Grover McBane rescue dog by Claire Garth

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Ill. by Johannes Leak. Piccolo Nero, 2018. ISBN: 9781760641085.
(Ages 7-9) Recommended. Themes: Rescue Dogs, Working Dogs, Farms, Pets. On a bold yellow and red cover, Border Collie Grover welcomes junior readers into his world. All five engaging stories are included in The Amazing...
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Feb 18 2019

The man with small hair by Jane Jolly and Andrew Joyner

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Hardie Grant Egmont, 2018. ISBN: 9781742977584.
The man with small hair loves his small hair. He also loves his short pants, zing-a-ding boots and clickety-clackety beads. He cartwheels with joy and bursts into song when he wears them. But the man with small hair is the only person who...
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Feb 18 2019

Believe me by JP Delaney

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Quercus, 2018. ISBN: 9781787472419.
(Age: Adult, 18+) Highly recommended. An enthralling and turbulent psychological thriller, JP Delaney's re-written and re-published version of his 2001 novel The Decoy grasps the reader's attention and interest and never relents. Claire Wright,...
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Feb 15 2019

A stack of alpacas by Matt Cosgrove

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Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781742998848.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Alpacas, Rules, Family, Verse. Younger readers will pick up this book with familiarity after reading the others in the series about alpacas, knowing that they are in for a treat, a fun verse story of mayhem,...
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Feb 15 2019

The extraordinary life of Stephen Hawking by Kate Scott

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Ill. by Esther Mols. Extraordinary lives series. Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780241373927.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Themes: Biography; Stephen Hawking; Scientists; Science; Cosmology. In a very unpretentious format, with simple language and naive illustrations, this...
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Feb 15 2019

Connections in Death by J.D. Robb

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In Death book 48. Piatkus, 2019. ISBN: 9780349422015.
(Age: Adult) Themes: Crime, Gangs, Detectives. Roberts has written a very gripping police procedural in the 48th book in the In Death series. This time the action centres on gang warfare. Dallas is called into the case...
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Feb 15 2019

How to train your dragon written and ill. by Cressida Cowell

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Hodder Children's Books, 2019 (c2003). ISBN: 9781444950380.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. To become a Viking hero it was a tradition of the Hooligan Tribe to undertake the dreaded Dragon Initiation Programme. Failure meant banishment from the tribe forever.
The unremarkable Hiccup, the...
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Feb 14 2019

The flying orchestra by Clare McFadden

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UQP, 2019. ISBN 9780702249297
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Music. Orchestras. A windy day in Brisbane sees a flying orchestra hit town. The image on the title page shows a lad watching as the orchestra blows in, heralding a story full of magical touches. Some poignant, others full...
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Feb 14 2019

Happy camper by Shamini Flint

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Ill. by Sally Heinrich. The Susie K Diaries. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN 9781760528287.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Camping. Problem solving. Susie K really, really does not like camping. What she does like is her skeleton, Bones, the school goldfish, her own company and...
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Feb 14 2019

The lost girls by Jennifer Spence

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Simon and Schuster 2019. ISBN 9781925791372.
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Themes: Loss. Time travel. Families. Choices. When Stella makes her way home to the Sydney waterside suburb she and husband Richard have lived in for forty years, it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it...
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Feb 13 2019

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2018. ISBN: 9780008297244.
(Age: 8-13) Highly recommended. Themes: Mammoths; Humorous Fiction; Orphans. David Walliams writes in a style that would make Roald Dahl proud! Characters are quirky, some of the adults are Dahl-esque and unpleasant and the plot...
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Feb 13 2019

Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables on the lookout by Tim Harris

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Ill. by James Hart. Penguin, 2018. ISBN: 9780143793144.
(Age: 9-12) Recommended. Themes: Missing persons, Teachers, Camping. Tim Harris continues the humour, enjoyment and excitement in this fourth story of Mr Bambuckle and his wild class from room 12B. Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables on...
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Feb 13 2019

The anger of angels by Sherryl Jordan

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Walker Books Australia, 2018. ISBN: 9781760650605.
(Age: 12+) I have never read a book by Sherryl Jordan before and was given this by a family friend. I originally was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy this book, as it is not what I would usually read. It is a historical...
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Feb 13 2019

Bizz buzz boss by Natalie McKinnon

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Ill. by Margaret Tolland. Starfish Bay Children's Books, 2018. ISBN: 9781760360566.
(Age: 4+) Themes: Insects, Gardens, Bees, Cautionary tales. This is a fascinating look at the role of each of a number of insects and other creatures in the garden (ladybird (bug), spider, bee, worm...
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Feb 12 2019

Wrestle! by Charlotte Mars, Maya Newell and Gus Skatterbol-James

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Ill. by Tom Jellett. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN 9781760296810
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Families. LGBT. Toys. Mardi Gras. Sydney. What does a parent do when their child takes up a hobby or interest they dislike? In this funny take on a well known family situation, the three...
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Feb 12 2019

The ember blade by Chris Wooding

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Gollancz, 2018. 824 pages. Paperback. ISBN 9781473214859.
(Age: 15+) Recommended for advanced young adult readers. Two young boys living in an occupied Kingdom, are fighting to recover a stolen treasure of their people. The ember blade follows Aren and Cade, two young boys who are...
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Feb 12 2019

Stephen Hawking by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vagara

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Ill. by Matt Hunt. Little people, big dreams series. Frances Lincoln, 2019. ISBN 9781786037329.
(Ages: 6-10) Recommended. Themes: Physicists. Biographies. 'However difficult life may, there is always something that you can do and succeed at.' Stephen Hawking's life was truly...
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Feb 12 2019

Suitcase of dreams by Tania Blanchard

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Simon & Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781925596168.
(Age: Adolescents - Adults) Themes: Immigration. Germans in Australia. Sydney. In 1956 a young couple arrive in Australia by ship, ready to begin a new life together, far away from their own country, Germany, that has been suffering the...
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Feb 12 2019

Der glumph went the little green frog ill. by Matt Shanks

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Scholastic, 2019. ISBN 9781742993676.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Frogs. Humour. Australian animals. A version of the song on which this picture book is based showing the noise made by a frog can be found on...
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Feb 10 2019

47 degrees by Justin D'Ath

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Puffin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143789079.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Bushfire, Victoria, Survival, Disaster. Justin D'Ath lost his house and possessions in the fatal bushfire now known as Black Saturday which tore through Victoria in January 2009.
He has recreated this...
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Feb 10 2019

Two can keep a secret by Karen M. McManus

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Penguin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780141375656.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery, Diversity. McManus shows a masterly hand at the mystery genre with this easy to read, dark tale of secrets in a small town. Ellery and her twin brother Ezra return to Echo Ridge to live with their...
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Feb 08 2019

The dog runner by Bren MacDibble

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Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760523572.
(Age: Middle school) Highly recommended. Themes: Dystopia, Future, Global warming, Climate change, Survival. In a bleak future where the earth has run out of food and people are starving, Emery and his little sister, Ella, hook their five dogs...
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Feb 08 2019

Through the smoke by Phil Cummings

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Ill. by Andrew McLean. Scholastic Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781760274702.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fire, Survival, Firefighters. Three children play on a hot blustery day; the wind feels like dragon's breath. They roam the paddocks around their home, waving their swords, making...
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Feb 08 2019

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

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Hodder Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781444940459.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: Adventure, Coming of age, Survival, Alaska, Family relations, Dance. The blurb says it all, to add to it would include spoilers:
It starts with a plane crash.
There are survivors: a
...
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Feb 08 2019

Black cockatoo by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler

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Magabala Books, 2018. ISBN 9781925360707.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Aboriginal themes, Kimberley, Cockatoos, Rite of passage, Growing up. When thirteen year old Mia rescues a black cockatoo injured by her brother's slingshot, she is at a loss to stand up to him. But...
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Feb 07 2019

A Darkest Minds collection: Through the dark by Alexandra Bracken

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HarperCollins 2019. ISBN 9781460756447.
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Consisting of three novellas, Through the dark, portrays the world of Darkest Minds by focusing on a set of fringe characters including Zu, Sam, Lucas, and Mia.
In time follows a would-be...
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Feb 07 2019

Rise: the Sam Thaiday story by Sam Thaiday with James Colley

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Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN 9780143790419.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Sam Thaiday's autobiography will be a favourite from middle school to lower secondary, given his own popularity and the popularity of the Brisbane Bronco's in the NRL. There are a few surprises, beginning with the...
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Feb 07 2019

Emily Green's garden by Penny Harrison

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Ill. by Megan Forward. New Frontier Publishing, 2019. ISBN 9781925594249.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Gardens. City life. Neighbours. Emily Green lives in a perfectly neat and tidy home, where her parents scrub and polish, dust and clean. Everyone joins in cleaning the house from top...
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Feb 07 2019

Muhammad Ali by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

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Ill. by Brosmind. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781786037336.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Themes: Muhammad Ali. Boxing. Ambition. One of a series called Little people, big dreams this little book about Muhammad Ali will intrigue younger readers to find out more about...
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Feb 07 2019

You make me happy by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

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Ill. by Alison Brown. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781408878958.
(Age: 3-5) Themes: Happiness. Wellbeing. Friendship.
You make me happy, you make me new.
Together there's NOTHING that we cannot do.

Fox and Porcupine celebrate their friendship and happiness in this joyful...
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Feb 06 2019

The house on the mountain by Ella Holcombe

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Ill. by David Cox. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760636968.
(Age: all) Highly recommended. Themes: Fire, Disaster. A family living at the top of the mountain swelters under the heat of summer. Mum closes the windows and pulls the curtains across but outside is just the same as inside....
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Feb 06 2019

Zelda Stitch: Term two: too much witch by Nicki Greenberg

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Zelda Stitch. Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN: 9781760523671.
(Age: Year 3 - Year 6) Recommended. Zelda Stitch started her career as a primary school teacher in the first of this series: Cursed first term of Zelda...
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Feb 05 2019

On the come up by Angie Thomas

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Walker Books, 2019. ISBN 9781406372168
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. 'I might have to kill someone tonight'. This is the startling first line of Thomas's novel, but the 'killing' isn't what it sounds like. Bri is a high school student who is finding it hard to sit through school when...
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Jan 22 2019

The elephant ride by Kate Bettison

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CreateSpace, 2018. ISBN 9781984930217.
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Darcy's family are having a relaxing beachside holiday in Thailand when Darcy finally gets her wish granted - to go on an elephant trek in the jungle. It is all very exciting until the elephant, Dao, sends her tossing...
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