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

May 23 2019

Nullaboo hullabaloo by Fleur Ferris

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Puffin 2019. ISBN: 9780143787143.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fairies, School, Competition, Environment. Gemma Hart wants to research butterflies for this year's science competition. The school won first prize last year and this year Gemma wants to emulate her former friend's success.
But Gemma is given the topic of march flies and dispirited goes into the school garden to see if she can spy any. What she sees is a feather and capturing this in her nifty bug catcher finds it is a fairy called Janomi and it needs her help. Janomi tells Gemma about her colony and how their leader, Papa Faffa, has been taken prisoner by their enemies, the silver spiders. Gemma promises to help rescue him.
But footage of the fairies ends up on the Internet, and Gemma and her family must do all they can do to save the colony being uncovered and exploited by the DUP (Department of Unexpected Things) represented by two most inept officers.
This action filled story about the magical world of fairies is also a story about community, working together to preserve living creatures and the environment. Along the way it is about friendship and being able to see past differences of opinion when lives are at stake. The story focusses on families and friends and a small community working together to achieve its aims.
This is Australian author Fleur Ferris's first novel for younger readers. After her working life as a police office and paramedic, Fleur has used her knowledge of the darker side of life to write the award winning Risk, followed by Wreck and Found, all three gripping young adult stories based on her sound knowledge of police work.
Nullaboo hullaballoo is certainly different from the three novels previously written by Ferris, but the target audience will read it readily, and hope like me that it is the first of a series of stories about fairies in our backyard.
Fran Knight



More Reviews

May 23 2019

My culture and me by Gregg Dreise

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143789376.
(Age: 7-10) Recommended.
Themes: Identity, Aboriginal peoples, Culture, Aboriginal Poetry. 'We need to always remember, to keep our culture growing inside. We must learn our traditions, and always be filled with pride.'
Storyteller, musician...
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May 23 2019

Moon fish: Poems to make you laugh and think by Harry Laing

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Ford Street Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925804256.
(Age: 5-11) Theme: Poetry. This is Harry Laing's second book of poems; he has performed the poems from his first collection, Shoctopus, at festivals and in schools around Australia. There are some exquisite illustrations in here...
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May 23 2019

The Space race by Sarah Cruddas

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Dorling Kindersley, 2019. ISBN: 9780241343777.
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Subjects: Moon, Solar system, Space transport, Mars mission. Astronaut Eileen Collins introduces The Space race in an inspirational foreword. She discusses her nine-year-old dreams to become a female astronaut,...
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May 23 2019

The race to Space by Clive Gifford

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Illus. by Paul Daviz. Words and Pictures, 2019. ISBN: 9781786038890. 64pp., hbk.
It is hard to believe that it is only a little over a century since the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight, achieving a distance of 37 metres at an altitude of just three metres with the flight...
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May 21 2019

Don't follow Vee by Oliver Phommanvanh

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Puffin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143505747.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Humour.
Vee has always gone along with her mother's snapping a picture each morning to put on her Instagram account 'The Chronicles of Vee' - an account her Mum started when she was a baby, and Vee always says...
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May 21 2019

The very hungry caterpillar's birthday party by Eric Carle

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Puffin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241376119. Board book.
(Age: 1-5) Highly recommended. Themes: Birthday parties, Caterpillars. Everyone's favourite caterpillar is back with a birthday party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The very hungry caterpillar. A board book, complete with...
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May 21 2019

Stand up for the future: A celebration of inspirational young Australians

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Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780143794394.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Themes: Young Australians, Achievements, Diversity, Overcoming difficulties, Resilience, Aspirations, LGBTIQ, Sports stars, Arts, Environmentalists, STEM. There has been a plethora of bright biographies released about...
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May 21 2019

Bodies of men by Nigel Featherstone

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Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9780733640704.
(Age: Adult) Recommended. Set in Egypt 1941, the story opens with a scene in the desert, where a young captain, William Marsh, whilst moving forward to help a Medical Officer reach a wounded lorry driver, hesitates to fire on the enemy before him -...
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May 20 2019

Little Frida by Anthony Browne

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Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781406381221. Hardcover, 32 pages.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Frida Kahlo, Disability. Resilience, Artists, Belonging, Imagination. Fans of Anthony Browne's wonderful books and fans of the artist Frida Kahlo will welcome this gorgeous picture that...
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May 20 2019

The greatest book in the world by Matt Porter (Rudolph Wordsmith)

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Ill. by Dave Atze. Ford St, 2019. ISBN: 9781925804140.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Language, Rhyme, Verse story, Bad language, Nudity, Humour. If you love looking for rude words that rhyme with 'bart' and 'snickers' and 'mum' and 'slurp' and 'start', as Rudolf writes his way...
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May 20 2019

The cold eye by Laura Anne Gilman

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The Devil's West bk. 2. Simon and Schuster, 2019. ISBN: 9781481429726.
(Age: 16+) Themes: Fantasy, Road trips, Western, Coming of age. In the sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is once again faced with the magic...
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May 20 2019

Red Waters Rising by Laura Anne Gilman

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The Devil's West bk. 3. Saga Press, ISBN: 9781481429757.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Western, Coming of age. In the conclusion to The Devil's West trilogy, Isobel and Gabriel ride to the great river, the Mud River, (aka Mississippi) where Isobel will once again...
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May 20 2019

The City of Guardian Stones by Jacob Sager Weinstein

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Walker, 2018. ISBN: 9781406368864.
(Age: 9-12) Themes: London, Fantasy, Magical realism, Adventure. The City of Guardian Stones is a hilarious, entertaining fantasy caper that takes us deep down into sewers, art gallery and railway tunnels, chasing the dastardly Minnie Tickle...
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May 17 2019

How to rob a bank by Tom Mitchell

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008276508.
(Age: 11 and up) Recommended. Themes: Adolescents, humor, guilt, bank robberies, fires. When I first read the title of this book little alarm bells rang in my head thinking this may not be such a great topic to allow into a...
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May 17 2019

Queer heroes by Arabelle Sicardi

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Illus. by Sarah Tanat-Jones. Quarto Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781786034861.
(Ages: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: LGBTQ, Difference, Heroes and heroines. Subtitled, Meet 52 LGBTQ heroes from past and present, this brightly inviting book does just that. Each page is devoted to...
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May 17 2019

The Talent Show by Delphine Davis

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Mermaid Holidays bk. 1. Illus. by Adele K. Thomas. Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780143796510.
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Themes: Friendship; Mermaids. This is an easy-to-read Friendship tale involving friends who catch up every school holiday break . . . and mermaids! Each of the...
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May 16 2019

The bug collector by Alex G. Griffiths

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New Frontier Press, 2019. ISBN 9781925594539.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Insects, Grandfathers, Collecting, Hobbies, Environment, Museums. When his Grandfather takes George to the museum on his favourite day of the week, Sunday, Grandfather takes the lead, pulling him past the...
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May 16 2019

Gone by midnight by Candice Fox

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Crimson Lake bk. 3. Bantam, 2019. ISBN: 9780143789154.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Themes: Crime, Detectives. Ted Conkaffey is back with his partner, Amanda Pharrell, in a suspenseful, locked room mystery. Following on from the success of the first two books in this series, Crimson...
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May 16 2019

Adventure Duck vs Power Pug by Steve Cole

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Illus. Aleksei Bitskoff. Orchard Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781408356838.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Superpowers, Humour, Good vs evil. Imagine a meteor lands and the impact creates a surge of energy that transforms animals nearby into over-charged versions of themselves with powers that...
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May 16 2019

Boy oh boy by Cliff Leek

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Illus. by Bene Rohlmann. Quarto Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781786033291.
Themes: Masculinity, Activism, Racism, LGBTIQ. Subtitled 'From boys to men', inspired by 30 coming-of-age stories of sportsmen, artists, politicians, educators and scientists, Boy oh boy is a collection of...
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May 15 2019

Follow after me by Allison Marlow Paterson

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Big Sky Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925675580.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Themes: World War I; Romance; War; Family history. This is cross-generational story involving both a World War I story and a contemporary coming of age drama and romantic tale. It is compelling, romantic and...
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May 15 2019

A quiet girl by Peter Carnavas

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University of Queensland Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780702260025.
(Age: 4-8) Highly recommended. Themes: Sounds, Listening, Personal characteristics. Peter Carnavas's distinctive illustrations have a calming, soft and peaceful quality perfectly suited to the themes of this book. His previous...
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May 15 2019

Fart Monster and me: The birthday party by Tim Miller and Matt Stanton

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HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780733340208.
(Age: 5-9) Themes: Birthday parties, Humour. This is the third book in the Fart Monster series (The Crash Landing, The New School). It uses simple language, perfect for newly independent readers. The content will also be...
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May 15 2019

Me and my sister by Rose Robbins

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Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760524456.
(Ages: 3-8) Themes: Autism, Differences, Siblings. Me and My Sister indirectly and gently looks at what it's like to live with a sibling with autism. It doesn't label the sister as having autism but her brother points out things that...
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May 14 2019

Baby business by Jasmine Seymour

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Magabala Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781925768671.
(Sge: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Aboriginal themes, Country, Babies, Smoking ceremonies. When a child is born, the women of the Darug community take the baby into the bush, gathering paperbark leaves, the leaves from green bushes and...
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May 14 2019

Willow Moss and the lost day by Dominique Valente

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Illus. by Sarah Warburton. Starfell bk. 1. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008308391.
(Ages 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Magic, Witches, Time, Fantasy. Dominique Valente's debut fantasy novel conjures up a magical world, filled with witches and trolls, controlled by an evil time...
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May 14 2019

Don't let go by Harlan Coben

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Cornerstone, 2017. ISBN: 9781780894249.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery, Revenge, Secrets. Best-selling author Coben writes a compelling thriller about the death of two teenagers, Leo and his girlfriend Diana, who were found dead on train tracks. Nap Dumas, Leo's twin brother,...
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May 14 2019

Shauna's great expectations by Kathleen Loughnan

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Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760631574.
(Age: 16+) Shauna is on an Indigenous scholarship to Oakholme, a prestigious boarding school. She's in her final year and she's excelling at French and Maths, and dreams of going to Paris with her equally smart friend Jenny, before going on to...
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May 13 2019

Wilam: a Birrarung story by Aunty Joy Murphy

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Illus. by Lisa Kennedy. Black Dog Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781925381764.
(Age: 4 - adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Yarra River, Melbourne, Aboriginal history, Environment. The stunning acrylic illustrations that cover every page will entice readers to pore over every detail, looking out...
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May 13 2019

Making friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu

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Wakefield Press, 2019. 264 pages, pb. ISBN: 9781743056127.
(Age: Teens) Recommended. Making Friends with Alice Dyson is a story about growing up, growing apart, first loves and getting to know those around you. It is a story about Alice who is in her final year of high school and...
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