Welcome back to take a look at children’s and young adults book reviews. It’s nearly Book Week, so keep an eye out for fabulous costumes and the CBCA Book Awards!
HM Waugh reviewed To the Lighthouse by Cristy Burne, a book of friendship and adventure, perfect for 7-10 year olds.
“A book you can give to your kids with confidence, and the only behaviour it’s likely to encourage is an increased wish to be outside experiencing life.”
Jennifer looked at The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon, the story of a boy born in an Australian detention centre.
“This is a beautifully written book. It may be aimed at the 8 to 14-year-old age group, but I’d recommend it to all adults (and politicians) as well. “
The D-Bot Squad series is a series of children’s books by Mac Park – Louise Park and Susannah McFarlane. Debbish read the first before sharing them with her god-son, enjoying the way the books mixed an eternal love for children (dinosaurs) with new technology and technological ideas.
“Pickle has just started reading these books . . . but was keen to share these books for those looking for the perfect reading matter for new readers “
Jess read and reviewed My Brother Tom by Michelle Worthington, a book aimed at giving context and comfort to the older siblings of a premature baby. Although those older siblings are the target audience, Jess felt it had a much wider appeal:
“My Brother Tom is a story with a hole lot of heart. It’s honest and real, and the families vulnerability really shines through on the page. It’s both heart breaking and heart warming at the same time, and is a book that left me astounded yet again by the power of picture books. It’s a picture book that transcends the realm of picture books, and it has universal appeal that will speak to readers of all ages, family backgrounds and structures regardless of whether they have or know of any babies born prematurely.”
The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless was a huge hit this month, with three reviews from Rochelle, Kali and Cass. It’s the story of 16 year old Lucy who lives in a tiny North Queensland town and has to deal with secrets all around. Rochelle found it a refreshing and enjoyable read which was easy to get into, while Kali was interested in the humour and language of the book. Cass was also struck by the language:
“At first, I was a bit deterred by the sheer number of Aussie slang phrases and expressions that punctuate every sentence. But as I forged deeper into the story, the language began to roll around me in a comforting and familiar way, enveloping me in the time and place, and most importantly, strengthening my bonds with the characters, who are all as Aussie as they come.”
Theresa reviewed Third Witch by Jackie French, a retelling of Macbeth through the eyes of Lady Macbeth’s lady’s maid. She appreciated the way French explored this well known story, keeping it accessible while still containing Shakespearean dialogue.
“If Jackie French’s aim was to demonstrate good triumphing over evil and superstition, then she’s done a marvellous job of it. I thoroughly enjoyed Third Witch and recommend it to both long-term Macbeth fans and students studying Macbeth for the first time, as well as everyone in between!”
Brenda took at look at Agent Nomad #1: The Eleventh Hour, the first in a new YA series by Skye Melki-Wegner. She was thoroughly impressed by it, stating that it ticked all the right boxes. Meanwhile, Emily read The Space Between by Rachel Sanderson, finding it a fantastic page turner:
“The atmosphere in this book was what struck me the most. There’s a real rawness underneath everything. “
Finally Nadia L King read and reviewed The Undercurrent by Paula Weston, the kind of book, she says, which makes you want to tell everyone to go away so you can enjoy it!
“Weston has written a high-voltage story full of explosive action and a zing of romance. The Undercurrent is a fast-paced, thrilling, futuristic action-packed YA novel that will have you zapped to your seat.”
I hope everyone has a great Book Week, filled with easy to make/wear costumes!
About Melina – Despite others hinting that I am supposed to ‘grow up’ at some point, books for young people continue to play a huge part in my reading life. This has served me well – as a teacher, book recommender, parent and educational resource designer. I’m currently writing novel studies as teaching resources, enjoying the rich world of picture books with my five-year-old and one-year-old, revisiting some of my favourite authors and reviewing books