Jimmy Thomson and Sandy MacGregor Allen and Unwin ISBN: 9781760113544 Publication Date: 29th July 2015 RRP: $29.99 This is the powerful story of the Army engineers in Afghanistan – the sappers – and the war against the Taliban. They are the soldiers who are everywhere, and who do everything, from building schools to assisting the disadvantaged local Afghan people in rebuilding their lives as war wreaks damage on their country. Starting with a history that describes the best it can […]
Zellie Bullen with Freda Marnie Nicholls Allen and Unwin ISBN: 9781743311516 RRP: $22.99 Publication date: March 2015 Reviewed by Donna Clark This is an inspirational true story of Zellie Bullen, a young Australian woman who came from an underprivileged family who followed her dream to work with animals. She was deserted by her father when she was young, has faced more tragedy than the average person and overcame depression from the personal loss she had suffered. Realising she had an […]
Jim Haynes Allen and Unwin ISBN: 9781760113063 Publication date: August 2015 RRP: $22.99 Reviewed by Debbie Berger Looking for good dose of Aussie culture? Look no further than this excellent collection of Aussie yarns by Jim Haynes. Broken into sections such as Aussie Humour, Aussie Myths and Mysteries, Yarns From our Past and Racing Yarns there is something here for everyone. The introduction explains the history of yarn telling in Australia. For example, the expression ‘spinning a yarn’ comes from […]
James Phelan Scholastic Australia ISBN: 9781742831930 RRP: $14.99 Reviewed by: William The book, The Last Thirteen: 4, is actually the 10th book in the popular series, with the tale beginning with The Last Thirteen: 13 and counting backwards. This series is written by Australian author James Phelan and has been popular for younger readers. In each book in the series, the main character, Sam, goes searching for a certain dreamer. In The Last Thirteen: 4, Sam goes to Cambodia in […]
Janeen Brian Cheryll Johns Omnibus books ISBN 9781742990965 RRP $24.99 Age 5+ Date of publication June 2015 Reviewer Neville Sandon Don’t get an experienced teacher started! Well, Janeen taught as a primary teacher for over twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. And we are the beneficiaries. Janeen Brian has authored picture books, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, short fiction and novels for young people and the educational market. Don’t miss out on this one, The Silly Squid. Poems are not […]
David Cox David Cox Allen & Unwin ISBN 9781743319031 RRP $24.99 Ages 6+ Reviewer Neville Sandon I have to say that we would all love to meet David Cox. He writes an intriguing story and then illustrates with watercolour and ink sketches. Just love his dogs that keep appearing throughout the pictures – in and out all the time. Just like a farm dog does. My 98 year old country born and raised Mum read this book and kept saying […]
Nicola Davies Luciano Lozano Walker Books ISBN 9781406342833 RRP $24.95 Age 5+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Neville Sandon Do you think snakes suffer a bad reputation – particularly after the Fall in Genesis? Are all snakes the same? Would you invite a snake to a tea party? A good snake! Blinky Bill is one thing but “Slinky Sam does his thing” is quite another. Not even the movies use snakes for the good. Think of Harry Potter or […]
Alex Mitchell Simon & Schuster ISBN 9780857832658 RRP $35.00 Age 10+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Neville Sandon Gardening! Really! Time impoverished and space starved then this is a book for you. OR… Are you a person who has no plants around home. Because they won’t live for you. Some plants even don’t wait to die they just commit suicide. Then this book is for you. OR… Are you one who adheres to the “Hard work doesn’t harm anyone, but […]
David Warner Simon & Schuster Australia ISBN: 9781925030815 Publication Date: December, 2014 RRP: $14.99 Reviewed by William The Kaboom Kid: Playing Up is the second book in David Warner’s series for young readers who love cricket. The story focuses on little Davey Warner and his friend Sunil and their cricket adventures. In this second story, little Davey Warner loses ‘Kaboom’, his lucky cricket bat. He follows his brother’s advice and uses something else to bat with, but it is just […]
Stephen Petranek Simon & Schuster Australia ISBN: 9781471138881 RRP: $16.99 Publication date: July, 2015 Reviewed by: Debbie Berger How We’ll Live On Mars is a concise little book that covers many aspects of the race to inhabit the Red Planet within 20 years. How would we get water? How would we get there? What would we eat? Who will get there first? These, and many other, questions are covered – all in an easy to read language that non-science minded […]
Edited by Jon E Lewis Allen and Unwin ISBN: 9781472120182 Published: June, 2015 RRP: $19.99 Reviewed by Debbie Berger The Mammoth Book of Everest is everything you ever wanted to know about the many first attempts to climb Mt Everest, also known the roof of the world. There is tragedy, triumph and many exhilarating tales from the world’s most famous mountain spanning from the early attempts to conquer her in 1913 up until the tragedy in April 2014 when an […]
Mem Fox Julie Vivas Scholastic ISBN 9781742991214 RRP $16.99 Age 3+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart There are some lovely cook books available for children but this one is really special because Julie Vivas has illustrated it. The recipes are relatively healthy and easy to make. It is a well planned and executed idea which offers a lot of Australia’s favourite foods for children to make.
P Crumble Wendy Binks Scholastic ISBN 9781743626436 RRP $19.99 Age 3+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart This is a sweet little story which has gorgeous illustrations by Wendy Binks. Inside the front cover is a CD on which Deborah Mailman beautifully sings the lullaby. Three great talents in one package. For anyone kept awake at night by possums in their roof it is hard to draw any resemblance to the very cute little creatures on the pages […]
Lizzie Wilcock Scholastic Press ISBN: 9781742839660 RRP: $16.99 Published: May, 2015 Reviewed by Debbie Berger Karanda Hooke is a young, angry girl on her way to her sixth foster home in the Northern Territory when a fatal car accident occurs. This situation creates an opportunity to escape her terrible life of being rejected by every foster home she has ever been placed in. Solomon, the other foster child in the car, decides he will tag along whilst Karanda is running away from […]
Michael Hyde Ford Street Publishing Pty Ltd ISBN: 9781925000993 Publication date: May 2015 RRP: $17.95 Reviewed by Debbie Berger Footy Dreaming tells the tale of two talented boys, Ben and Noah, and their dreams of playing AFL at the MGC. It is set in a Victorian town where the boys play in rival teams and where football is the way of life for everyone. When Noah is racially vilified in a match against Ben’s team, things change for both of […]
Phil Cummings Owen Swan Scholastic ISBN 9781743622544 RRP $24.99 Age 4+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart Phil Cummings has had two outstanding books published this year. Ride, Ricardo, Ride! and now Newspaper Hats. This latest one has been described as “a gentle yet powerful story” and it certainly is. Owen Swan supports the story with wonderful illustrations and the inside covers feature old newspaper articles which is such a clever idea. This is really a great book.
Michael Gerard Bauer Joe Bauer Scholastic ISBN 9781742990675 RRP $12.99 Age 8+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart Well known and highly respected Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer and his son Joe Bauer have released another book in the Eric Vale series. The target audience is for readers from 8+ years. This is another book in the visual literacy/comic book genre which is currently very popular.
Dav Pilkey Dav Pilkey Scholastic Inc ISBN 9781760151553 RRP $12.99 Age 6+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart For fans of this series (and there are many of them) this new novel (the eleventh) will be enthusiastically received. Of course this new book follows the same format but there is plenty to read as well as the illustrations to enjoy. According to the blurb, Dav Pilkey’s 2nd grade teacher told him he couldn’t spend the rest of his […]
Aaron Blabey Aaron Blabey Scholastic ISBN 9781760150426 RRP $9.99 Age 7+ Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart Aaron Blabey has turned his talents as both a writer and illustrator to a graphic novel for the 7+ age group. The bad guys (episode 1) features a wolf, a snake, a shark and a piranha. Although we associate all these animals with danger they are looking for ways to be seen as the “good guys” and prove that they are […]
Heath McKenzie Heath McKenzie Scholastic Press ISBN 9781743626009 RRP $16.99 Age 3+ Date of publication May 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart This book is in the form of a conversation between a boy and a dinosaur. A cute concept to point out some of the things dinosaurs can and can’t do. Lovely illustrations too.
Bob Flowerdew Pete Cassidy Simon and Schuster ISBN 9780857833037 RRP $39.99 Date of publication July 2015 Reviewer Megan Stuart I was first introduced to Bob Flowerdew via Gardener’s Question Time on BBC Radio 4. He was wise and funny which is an irresistible combination and this wit and wisdom are reflected in this revised edition of his Organic Gardening Bible. In the introduction Bob challenges us to all do our part to save the world. “to reduce our excessive consumption” and […]
Sam Usher Sam Usher Koala Book Company ISBN 9781742761169 RRP $19.99 Age 4+ Date of publication June 2015 Reviewer NJS Q: What’s the slowest thing on four legs? A: a little boy standing at the front door waiting for his granddad to come outside and play. Every child loves a snow day – heaps of fun to happen out on the snow! And ready to go Sam says “let’s go!!!” But Sam has to wait for his Grandad. How do […]
Eve Ainsworth Scholastic ISBN: 9781407146911 Published: February 2015 RRP: $15.95 Reviewed by Clare Horwood 7 Days is a compelling and disturbing story of bullying and abuse from two character’s perspectives: the bully and the victim. Spread over the course of seven days, the reader gets an insight into the lives of both characters: Kez (the bully) and Jess (the victim) who are equally unaware of each other’s personal struggles and problems. You will find it hard to put this one down […]
Lisa Genova Simon and Schuster Australia ISBN: 9781471142901 $29.99 Published April 2015 Reviewed by Debbie Berger Inside the O’Briens is a powerful story about the Huntington’s Disease, a debilitating and fatal neurogenetic disease. Joe O’Brien is a 44 year old Boston cop who has seen it all on the force, including the Boston Marathon bombing. When he hurts his knee and innocently visits his doctor he receives the devastating diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. Joe now has the heartbreaking job of […]