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

Jun 05 2020

Rocky and Louie by Phil Walleystack and Raewyn Paisley

cover image

Illus. by Dub Leffler. Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9780143786528.
(Ages: 5-10) Highly Recommended. This is a superb collaboration between three accomplished Australian storytellers. It tells the tale of two Indigenous brothers, their special bond and their connection to country. Younger brother Louie simply adores his big brother Rocky, who teaches him to play footy as well as about their country. Thanks to Rocky, Louie knows not to step on the new shoots coming up through the dirt, how to take care of the land through lighting little, cool fires and how to respect the country's animals. But one day, Rocky tells Louie he is leaving; he has big dreams and wants to pursue them. It's difficult for Louie to say goodbye to his brother, so he crafts a boomerang for Rocky, to remind him that he will always return to the place where he belongs.
The illustrations are soft, sparse and dreamlike, perfectly capturing the immenseness of remote communities. However, they also capture the joy and love of the people living there and their respect for their place in space. There is a beautiful message here about belonging and living with traditions co-existing with dreaming big. This is reinforced with a heartening show of community and family support for Rocky and his decision to leave for the city and a final page showing Rocky returning to his country and his little brother. It also seems fitting that specifics about Rocky's dreams are omitted, leaving it open for the reader to put themselves in Rocky's shoes (although the final page gives some clues with school certificates and sports medals). This will be a meaningful book for young Indigenous children but also important for all Australian children as they develop an understanding of Indigenous connection to country. Themes: Australian rules football, ATSI perspectives, Connection to country, Family.
Nicole Nelson



More Reviews

Jun 05 2020

Boxed by Richard Anderson

cover image

Scribe Publications, 2019. ISBN: 9781925713657. 288pp.
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Recommended for lovers of Australian rural noir. Dave Martin is depressed; his wife has left him and his farm is failing. When he isn't drinking too much he buys cheap tools on the internet, passing...
more

Jun 05 2020

Evie and Pog: Party Perfect! by Tania McCartney

cover image

Harper Collins Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781460757956.
(Ages: 6-10) Recommended. This is the latest addition to prolific Australian author and illustrator Tania McCartney's (Australian Kids Through the Years,...
more

Jun 05 2020

The Little Engine that could by Watty Piper

cover image

Illus. by Dan Santat. Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780593094396.
(Ages: 3-7) A classic children's tale first published in 1930, The Little Engine that could shows the power of kindness and determination. This 90th anniversary edition has a heartfelt introduction by Dolly...
more

Jun 05 2020

The New Baby's Bunny by Philippa Brown

cover image

Illus. by Krista Brennan. Little Steps Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925839029.
(Ages: 3-7) There is a new baby on the way and Nanna is knitting a special bunny for its arrival. Told through one of the three older siblings, the story tells about the bunnies Nanna knitted for each of the...
more

Jun 04 2020

Mabel and the mountain by Kim Hillyard

cover image

Ladybird, 2020. ISBN: 9780241407929.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Subtitled, A story about believing in yourself, the wide eyed creature in a smart knitted hat invites the reader to look further inside, if only to know what this creature is. We find out soon enough as her route...
more

Jun 04 2020

The switch by Beth O'Leary

cover image

Quercus 2020. ISBN: 9781787475007.
(Age: Adult) Leena has a job she loves, lives in a trendy flat in Shoreditch, London, which she shares with flatmates Martha, Yaz and Fitz. But since the death from cancer of her sister, Carla, she has been having panic attacks and making mistakes at...
more

Jun 02 2020

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill

cover image

Spot the Dog. Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241446850. Board book.
(Age: 0+) Highly recommended. With a gorgeous ruby cover to celebrate 40 years since the publication of this classic picture book, young and old alike will delight in the simple story of Sally trying to find Spot the...
more

Jun 02 2020

Deep water by Sarah Epstein

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760877286.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Chloe misses her friend Henry and is determined to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Following a violent storm one night, the only clue to Henry's whereabouts is his mountain bike leaning against the train...
more

Jun 02 2020

Weirdo 14: Vote Weirdo! by Anh Do

cover image

Illus. by Jules Faber. Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781743836668.
(Age: 7-9) Weirdo 14: Vote Weirdo! is the latest entertaining story in the Anh Do series and begins with Weir Do and his classmates choosing students to run for Class Captain. Weir Do, Bella Allen and Hans Some are...
more

May 22 2020

Dark Age by Pierce Brown

cover image

Red Rising Saga. Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9781473646759.
(Young Adult/Adult). Recommended. Dark Age is the fifth instalment in Pierce Brown's dystopian science fiction Red Rising Saga and the tone of the book is indicated by the title. This a dark, unpredictable and...
more