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

Nov 15 2018

The traitor's game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

cover image

Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742997643
(Ages 12 +) Recommended. Fantasy. After being in hiding for several years from her father and the cruel king of Antora, Kestra Dallistor is forced to decide whether to betray her father or lose loved ones.
The story is set in medieval times and follows two main characters, Kestra Dallistor and Simon Hatch. Both are stubborn, brave and loyal, but have come from different backgrounds and are forced to form an alliance. Kestra is kidnapped by the Coracks who plan to kill the king with the Olden Blade and overtake the kingdom. Much of the story is set within castles and forests. The king's soldiers have hearts with iron in them. The Coracks are able to detect when the soldiers are coming because they can detect the iron in their hearts and this gives them an advantage when they go in to battle.
The king's army comes and tries to kill the Coracks and Kestra after they get the Olden Blade back but the suspense does not stop there, as the magic of the Olden Blade is quite complicated. Only certain people can touch the blade including 'The Banished', and if anyone else touches it their hands become seriously burnt.
Neilsen cleverly illustrates the many twists and turns in the traitor's game, leaving the reader guessing and intrigued to find out what will happen next.
This book is recommended for 12+ and people who love to read fantasy.
Lara F., Student, Year 7



More Reviews

Nov 15 2018

Lenny's book of everything by Karen Foxlee

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760528706
(Age: 10 - Adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Brothers and sisters. Physical impairments. Books and reading. Lenny's book of everything is a powerful, emotional and warm-hearted story seen through third-grader Lenny's eyes. She narrates in...
more

Nov 15 2018

Elizabella meets her match by Zoe Norton Lodge and Georgia Norton Lodge

cover image

Walker Books Australia, 2018. ISBN 9781760650544
(Age: 8+) Recommended. 'Elizabella - ten and a quarter - is a Poet, Fixer of Fairytales and the biggest prankster in the history of Bilby Creek Primary. And when her plans involve making a swimming pool in the playground without consulting...
more

Nov 15 2018

The Sisters Saint-Claire and the Royal Mouse Ball by Carlie Gibson

cover image

Ill. by Tamsin Ainslie. Allen & Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760523640
(Ages: 5-8) Themes: Appearances. Clothing. Fashion. Friendship. Rhyming stories. This is a beautifully illustrated follow-up to The Sisters...
more

Nov 15 2018

The football book: The teams, the rules, the leagues, the tactics by David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton

cover image

David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton
Ill. by Phil Gamble, Mike Garland, and Mark Walker. Dorling Kindersley, 2018. ISBN 9780241332856
(Age: 8+) Recommended for sports fans. Subjects: Soccer. Team sports. Football. The football book, published by DK, is a comprehensive compendium...
more

Nov 15 2018

The legend lurking in your lunchbox by Yves Stening

cover image

Ill. by Nigel Buchanan. Dinner Detectives series. Publish-Creative Books, 2018. ISBN 9780648008729
(Age: 4+) Themes: Lunch. Food. Humour. The third outing in the series, Dinner Detectives, promotes the theme of healthy eating, while contemplating some of the things which...
more

Nov 15 2018

Tiny Timmy: On holiday by Tim Cahill

cover image

Tiny Timmy series, book 8. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742997650
Fun for all ages, especially 7-9 year-olds. Recommended. Easy to read. The Tiny Timmy series is a light fun-filled series with plenty of heart. Written by Australian Soccer champion Tim Cahill, this is a...
more

Nov 15 2018

Snow Penguin by Tony Mitton

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408862964
(Age: All) Recommended. This little penguin can never stay still.
He's always in search of excitement and thrill.

In the frozen Antarctic one curious little penguin decides to explore the ice and the snow and the sea. On his travels...
more

Nov 14 2018

Ho! Ho! Ho! There's a hippopotamus on our roof eating Christmas cake by Hazel Edwards

cover image

Ill. by Deborah Niland. Penguin Random House, 2018. ISBN 9780143790679
(Age: 3-6) Recommended Themes: Christmas. There are quite a few Hippopotamus books in this series now and this latest one follows the same signature style that has made the books so popular over many years. Short...
more

Nov 14 2018

We're going on an elf chase by Martha Mumford

cover image

Ill. by Laura Hughes. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408872413
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Christmas, Elves, Hunt, Lift the flap book, Verse. Fingers will just love lifting the flaps in this book as the reader is asked to work with the bunnies on their wintry quest to find the elves. Four...
more

Nov 14 2018

Santa Claus vs the Easter Bunny by Fred Blunt

cover image

Ill. by David Cornish. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760634698
(Age: 5-10) Humorous Stories. 'Santa Claus and Easter Bunny live next door to each other. Santa was a jolly fellow. Bunny was not.' Bunny's bad attitude to life is because he has to make the chocolate, turn it into eggs,...
more

Nov 14 2018

Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

cover imageBruce book 4. Disney-Hyperion, 2018. ISBN 9781484782903
(Age: 7+) Recommended for its humour. Themes: Christmas, Santa Claus, Humour. Santa Bruce is the fourth in a series about Bruce, a very grumpy bear, who is often the victim of mistaken identity, in this case Santa Claus....
more

Nov 14 2018

Princess Snowbelle and the Snow Games by Libby Frost

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408896853
(Age: 3+) Recommended for its themes of cooperation, sharing, teamwork and being a good sport. Following Princess Snowbelle and the snowstorm this very cute picture book features...
more

Nov 14 2018

Feminists don't wear pink and other lies by Scarlett Curtis

cover image

Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780241364451
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Scarlett Curtis assembles a magnificent 'guide book' for the Girl-Up movement, with this anthology of short essays, blogs, narratives, lists, poems, diaries, interviews, anecdotes - including an Alphabet. The Girl-Up...
more

Nov 14 2018

Bad Mermaids: On the rocks by Sibeal Pounder

cover image

Ill. by Jason Cockcroft. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408877142
(Age: 8-11) Recommended. Another hilarious, laugh out loud book about mermaids, evil mothers, talking seahorses, fish, crocodiles and more. Featuring magical mysteries and fabulous fashions, this adventure brings a whole new...
more

Nov 14 2018

Weirdo 11: Splashy Weird by Anh Do

cover image

Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742993751
Recommended. More funny adventures with Weir and his friends, this time at the school swimming sports where Weir learns that participation and having fun is even more important than winning. Weir is dreading his school's swimming carnival. After...
more

Nov 13 2018

Kin, an extraordinary Australian filmmaking family edited by Amanda Duthie

cover image

Wakefield Press, 2018. ISBN 9781743056028
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Non-fiction. This book is a tribute to the amazing Australian family pioneering Indigenous radio, cinema and television - Freda Glynn, and her children Warwick Thornton and Erica Glynn, and the next generation,...
more

Nov 13 2018

Up the mountain by Marianne Dubuc

cover image

Book Island, 2018. ISBN 9781911496090
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Friendship. Generosity. Outdoors. Life skills. Mrs Badger lives at the bottom of a mountain and each Sunday she takes a walk up the path to the top. She knows all the creatures who live along the way, stopping to talk...
more

Nov 13 2018

Sage Cookson's stormy weather by Sally Murphy

cover image

New Frontier, 2018. ISBN 9781925594263
(Age: 5-7) Recommended. Themes: Cooking. Cyclones. Courage. Family life. Ten-year-old Sage Cookson travels with her famous TV chef parents Ginger and Basil all over Australia and the world. In each new destination, the crew film her parents tasting...
more

Nov 13 2018

Woo's wonderful world of Maths by Eddie Woo

cover image

Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781760554217
Themes: Mathematics. This is not a conventional book about Maths which would normally have more numbers than letters. In fact, there aren't a lot of numbers in this book. Rather, it is a collection of essays which explain the way Maths is used in...
more

Nov 13 2018

Girltopia by Hilary Rogers

cover image

Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742994581
Recommended. Themes: Coming-of-age. Set in Melbourne, a virus wreaks havoc on the men and boys within the city. Clara is front and centre to the information as her Mum is a lead Doctor on solving the problem. Not keen on waiting for her Mum and the...
more

Nov 12 2018

Midnight at the library by Ursula Dubosarsky

cover image

Ill. by Ron Brooks. NLA Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9780642279316
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Libraries, Books, History of books, Reading, Illustrative technique. This sumptuously created book, published to celebrate 50 years of the building of the National Library of Australia in...
more

Nov 12 2018

POWman: Unleash the Hero Within by Dave Tabain and Nadia Worland

cover image

Ill. by Shane Ogilvie. POWman book 1. Harbour Publishing, 2018, ISBN 9781925796018
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Subjects: Bullying, Resilience. Dave POW Tabain is a motivational speaker and fitness challenge master who has made it his mission to help people become their best selves....
more

Nov 12 2018

The Word by William Lane

cover image

Transit Lounge, 2018. ISBN 9781925760088
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) As its title suggests, this novel is centred on the human construction of language, specifically reflecting on the way in which words form our thoughts and our speech, thus affecting our consciousness in terms of...
more

Nov 12 2018

The Lost Magician by Piers Torday

cover image

Quercus, 2018. ISBN 9781786540515
(Age: 9-12) Themes: Good and Evil, Fantasy. The year is 1945 and Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry have survived the London Blitz and experienced the destructive effects of the bombings on their schools and housing. They are sent off to the countryside...
more

Nov 12 2018

Competing for the Cup by Bobbi JG Weiss

cover image

Ride series, Book 2. Candlewick Entertainment, 2018. ISBN 9780763698553
(Age: Teenagers+) Recommended. Competing for the Cup is the second book in the Ride series, and is based on a TV show aired on Nickelodeon. Competing for the Cup follows Kit Bridges after...
more

Nov 12 2018

Living and loving in diversity edited by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli

cover image

Wakefield Press, 2018. ISBN 9781743055953
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Non-fiction. Subtitled An anthology of Australian multicultural queer adventures, this book brings together the memories and personal stories of many LGBTIQ people, some of whom are well-known names many Australians...
more

Nov 09 2018

Preservation by Jock Serong

cover image

Text Publishing Company, 2018. ISBN 9781925773125
(Adult - Senior Secondary) Recommended. Themes: Sydney Cove (Ship), Shipwrecks, Sydney (N.S.W.) - History - 1851-1901. It was hard to put down this epic tale of survival, based on a true story, which began as a sail journey by an illicit...
more

Nov 09 2018

Seeker of the Crown by Ruth Lauren

cover image

Prisoner of Ice and Snow Book 2. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781681191331
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Valor risks everything to protect her friends in this second book in a thrilling fantasy series that's Percy Jackson meets Frozen.
'One month has passed...
more

Nov 09 2018

A monster in my house by The Umbilical Brothers

cover image

Ill. by Johan Potema. Puffin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780143791706
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Monsters, Humour. A story in verse full of fun and anticipation will enthral younger children as they scan the sumptuous illustrations with glee. From the first verse telling the audience about...
more

Nov 09 2018

Athena the story of a Goddess by Imogen and Isobel Greenberg

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408892497
(Age: 8+) Greek myths, Athena, Gods and goddesses, Women. Athena the story of a Goddess, is a collaboration between the Greenberg sisters, with Imogen retelling the story and Isabel providing the arresting images. The tale of the goddess Athena is...
more

Nov 09 2018

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

cover image

Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406378177
(Age: 14+) Recommended. This book is brilliant, gripping and horrifying - all at once! Right from the start we are gripped by the anxiety of the narrator, and this does not let up at all. We are positioned to wonder whom we can trust? Told...
more

Nov 08 2018

Everything I've never said by Samantha Wheeler

cover image

UQP, 2018. ISBN 9780702260278
(Age: 10-15) Highly recommended. This is a powerful book that gives a voice to a protagonist who cannot speak. Ava has Rett Syndrome, therefore she can't talk or use her body in any way to communicate. At times she cannot control her loud outbursts and her...
more

Nov 08 2018

Bonnie and Ben rhyme again by Mem Fox

cover image

Ill. by Judy Horacek. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742996240
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Nursery rhymes. Rhyme. Bonnie and Ben go for a walk with their friend, Skinny Doug. As they walk they see various things: a hill, a sheep, a plum tree, rose bushes and a spider. Each sighting elicits...
more

Nov 08 2018

Under the Southern Cross by Frane Lessac

cover image

WalkerBooks, 2018. ISBN 9781925381016
(age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Australia. Southern Cross. Astronomy. Award-winning Lessac's latest picture book for older readers takes us on a journey around Australia, following the activities people are involved with when the Southern Cross can be...
more

Nov 08 2018

The adventures of Catvinkle by Elliot Perlman

cover image

Puffin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780143786368
(Age: 8-11) Catvinkle is a self-confident white cat who lives in Amsterdam with her beloved owner, Mr Sabatini. Her pampered life is wonderful but when a stray Dalmatian dog, Ula, is brought back to their home her life changes forever.
At...
more

Nov 08 2018

Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo

cover image

Ill. by Harry Bliss. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406383577
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Dogs. Responsibility. Family. Companionship. Divided into nine chapters, this comic styled story tells of Rosie the dog who lives with George. Each morning, George cooks himself two eggs and...
more

Nov 02 2018

Noni the pony rescues a joey by Alison Lester

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760293123
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Horses, Australian animals, Environment, Habitat. Noni the pony rescues a joey will captivate its audience, already thrilled at the first book about Noni the pony (2010) and Noni the pony...
more

Nov 01 2018

Doctor Who: Twelve angels weeping: Twelve stories of the villains from Doctor Who by Dave Rudden

cover image

Ill. by Alexis Snell. BBC Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781405938273
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Science fiction. Doctor Who. Time travel. Monsters. Aliens. Robots. Villains. Life on other planets. Twelve short stories featuring the villains from the Doctor Who series will enthral...
more

Oct 26 2018

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, retold by Tony Mitton

cover image

Ill. by Mike Redman. Orchard Books, 2018. ISBN 9781408351673
Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas; Charles Dickens; Generosity; Poetry; Rhyme. This is wonderful poetic rendering of the classic story from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Mitton has told this story of...
more

Oct 12 2018

The Christmas tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson

cover image

Ill. by Eleanor Taylor. Frederick Warne, 2018. ISBN 9780241352885
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Christmas, Poultry. Emma Thompson, the renowned actress, has written another tale about Peter Rabbit in this board book, beautifully illustrated by Eleanor Taylor. Peter is very excited...
more