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

Mar 27 2020

Heart and soul by Carol Ann Martin

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Illus. by Tull Suwannakit, Scholastic 2020. ISBN: 9781742999920. 32pp.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. This disarming tale of the relationship between a dog and his owner will thrill all readers as they follow the warmth of the bond between the old man and his rescue dog, to separation then reconnection.
When Charlie plays his trumpet, the dog, Louis, sings alongside him, the two engrossed in the heart and soul of the music and their friendship. But one day the old man becomes ill and is taken away in an ambulance. The dog is left, and wanders the streets, finding scraps to stay alive. One day he hears a familiar sound and finds a  trumpeter playing on the streets. He begins to sing along with the busker, and people stop and put money in the busker's hat which they have not done before. The man is thrilled with the double act and takes Louis home with him to his share accommodation. Together they play in the town and their notoriety comes to the attention of the matron at the nursing home. She asks them to play on Christmas Eve, and in the home, Louis finds a surprise.
Martin's lovely story will connect with children on many levels - an animal story will always melt their hearts: the dog once abandoned at a rescue home finds a home only to lose it, the relationship between the old man and the dog engenders warmth and understanding, the reunification at the end a cause for celebration.
Suwannakit's delightful illustrations ground the story, showing a wonderful old man and his dog, keeping their hearts and souls together with music. Watercolour, pen and ink present a soft edged series of illustrations, never sentimental but full of feeling that readers will love. The tender relationship between the dog and Charlie is stunningly portrayed, readers will be able to feel the dog's head on their shoulders and share in their joy at reuniting. Themes: Dogs, Rescue homes, Nursing homes, Old age, Music.
Fran Knight



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Mar 27 2020

The golden cage by Anna Castagnoli

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Illus. by Carll Cneut. Book Island, 2020. ISBN: 9781911496144. 56pp.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. European fairy tale, The golden cage, is a captivatingly dark story of a selfish princess, spoiled and indulged, illustrated in the most amazing of painterly drawings, full of detail...
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Mar 27 2020

Freefall by Jacqueline Harvey

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Kensy and Max book 5. Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780143796985.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Kensy (Kensington) and Max (Maxim) Grey are the grandchildren of the rather magnificent and wealthy Cordelia Spencer, a woman of amazing talents. Recently Kensy and Max have discovered...
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Mar 27 2020

Ben Braver and the Vortex of Doom by Marcus Emerson

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The Super Life of Ben Braver book 3. Allen and Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760631703. 320pp.
(Ages 7-10). Recommended. A funny, fast-paced adventure that will appeal to many middle Primary readers especially those who have read Emerson's other series,...
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Mar 26 2020

The ruin by Dervla McTiernan

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Cormac Reilly book 1. Harper Collins, 2018. ISBN: 9781460754214.
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Highly recommended. After reading the review of The scholar (2019) I decided to start with the first book...
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Mar 26 2020

Wild, fearless chests by Mandy Beaumont

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Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9780733643033. 224pp.
(Age: Adult - Older adolescent) Mandy Beaumont has created a most powerful and disturbing collection of stories about women. The treatment, in both sexual and physical abuse, the repression, hurt, and nastiness inflicted on women is vividly...
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Mar 25 2020

Wink by Rob Harrell

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HarperCollins Publishers, 2020. ISBN: 9781460758878.
(Ages 12-15). Highly recommended. Normal is something all middle-school students crave, to avoid bullies and fit into school life. But for Ross Maloy this is proving very difficult when the results of his cancer treatment mean an eye...
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Mar 25 2020

Beetle and Boo by Caitlin Murray

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Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780143796565. 24pp.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Beetle is adamant that he is not afraid of anything. Nothing phases him, but Book is sure there must be something. He tries different things that others are frightened of; spiders, the dark, ghosts, bad dreams, thunder...
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Mar 25 2020

Ten minutes to bed Little Unicorn by Rhiannon Fielding

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Illus. by Chris Chatterton. Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780241408339. board book, 28pp.
(Age: 2-5) First published in 2018, this is one in a series of Ten Minutes to Bed books (including...
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Mar 25 2020

Peppa Pig: Super Peppa

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Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780241411971. 32pp.
Super Peppa is another book instalment linked to the popular TV show Peppa Pig. This large book is colourful, full of all the characters children love from the show and surprisingly contains a wonderful message for...
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Mar 24 2020

Displaced, a rural life by John Kinsella

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Transit Lounge, 2020. ISBN: 9781925760477. 336pp.
This is a book written to plunge us into a place and a time, the 'now' in which Kinsella lives and writes with such passion. With such love for this planet and such despair springing from his dread, his fear is a terrible sense that we...
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Mar 24 2020

We catch the bus by Katie Abey

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Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781526607195. 32pp.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Wow! This is one busy, brightly illustrated book that kids who love looking for details will adore. Readers are asked to "What will You drive today?" right on the front cover by a lion wearing a green mask and from then...
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Mar 24 2020

Tabitha and the raincloud by Devon Sillett and Melissa Johns

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EK, 2020. ISBN: 9781925820133. 32pp., hbk.
Nearly 50 years ago Judith Viorst wrote a book that has become a classic called Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and that is exactly what Tabitha is having. From the moment she wakes up in the morning there is a...
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Mar 23 2020

The bad Bassinis by Clair Hume

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Illus. by Tom Jellett. Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781760663377. 24pp.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Tom Jellett's hilarious illustration on the front cover - two wide necked mean looking dogs, peering threateningly at the reader will draw immediate laughter and a thrilling need to open the...
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Mar 23 2020

The wonderful wisdom of ants by Philip Bunting

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Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781743834084. 32pp.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. While showcasing some astonishing facts about ants, Bunting is cleverly using their lives to promote our sustained use of the planet, to finish his story with 'leave the earth in better shape than it was when you...
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Mar 23 2020

Mr Nobody by Catherine Steadman

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Simon and Schuster, 2020. ISBN: 9781471192265. 384pp.
(Adult) Recommended for mystery lovers. Anybody interested in memory loss and the functioning of the brain will be sure to learn a lot when reading Mr Nobody. A man is found on a beach with no idea of who he is and what his...
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Mar 23 2020

Our Planet: The one place we all call home by Matt Whyman

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Illus. by Richard Jones. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008180317. 96pp., hbk.
This is the official children's book version of the Netflix documentary series Our Planet. Endorsed by the World Wildlife Foundation and with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, it is an...
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Mar 20 2020

Pretty funny by Rebecca Elliot

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Penguin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780241374627. 336pp.
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Haylah Swinton, sometimes known as 'Hay', but mostly as 'Pig', is a teen with attitude . . . a funny attitude! She is comedic and uses jokes (and chocolate) to cope with life. She is the older sibling of Noah - a...
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Mar 20 2020

Australians all love Easter eggs by Colin Buchanan

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Illus. by Sarah Hardy. Scholastic Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781743834794. 24pp.
(Age: 2-6) Recommended. Australians all love Easter eggs is a cute rhyming story written by Colin Buchanan and illustrated by Sarah Hardy. It tells of poor Bunyip Creek, a town too far for the Easter...
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Mar 20 2020

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

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Mantle UK, 2020. ISBN: 9781529014181. 336pp.
Recommended for adult readers. War threatens London. Not only are precious children evacuated, but valuable museum artifacts. The Natural History Museum chooses Lockwood Manor as a safe location, and Hetty Cartwright as the chosen...
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Mar 20 2020

Peter Rabbit 2: Bunny trouble

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Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241410875. 32pp.
Peter Rabbit 2: Bunny trouble is a level 2 (progressive reader) book from the Penguin Young Readers series. It is a story based on the new Peter Rabbit movie, where Peter snuggles himself into Thomas's truck and takes a trip...
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Mar 20 2020

Let's go! On a train by Rosalyn Albert

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Illus. by Natalia Moore. Let's Go! series. New Frontier, 2020. ISBN: 9781925594980. 16pp.
(Age: 2+) A simple rhyming story has two friends going on a steam train journey.
Let's go on a steam train
And choo-choo through the land
We wait down at the station
...
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Mar 19 2020

Butterfly yellow by Thanhha Lai

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University of Queensland Press, 2020. ISBN: 9780702262890.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Dedicated to the unknowable number of refugees at the bottom of the sea, Butterfly yellow tells the story of Hang, a young Vietnamese girl making her way across Texas, searching for the last...
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Mar 19 2020

Bluey: Easter fun! A craft book by Bluey

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Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9781760896898. 24pp.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. There are lots of activities in this craft book that will keep young children (and their older siblings) engaged over the Easter holidays. Fans of the Bluey TV series will love this book and will want to try...
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Mar 19 2020

Bluey: Bob Bilby by Bluey

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Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781760896638. 24pp.
(Age: Preschool) Recommended. Bluey is back again for little fans of the very popular TV series. It is Bingo's turn to have the joy of taking Bob Bilby home from her classroom, where it is expected that the family will take...
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Mar 19 2020

What the fluffy bunny said to the lazy llama by P. Crumble and Chris Saunders

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Koala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781743832486. 24pp.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Fluffy Bunny is a great organiser and is determined that the animals will all practise for the sports carnival that is on next week. He approaches each animal in turn, giving them a sport: the lazy llama gets...
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