Welcome back to another month of fabulous books and reviews!
Anna took a quick look at Silly Galah! by Janeen Brian, an information book about Australian animals, complete with a short poem for each animal. Anna read this with her daughter, mentioning that it’s a book they will enjoy together for many years to come:
“The short length of the poems means that the book can just as easily be read in one sitting or be dipped into, depending on the child’s attention span.”
A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee featured in Christine’s review. She described it as a book for all ages, where the silly and the chilling come together:
“It is all about self-discovery and individual capacity to manage primitive emotions such as fear, isolation and self-doubt. But it is also about faith, which is often blind but always, ALWAYS stubborn as thousand-year-old tree roots.”
Amy reviewed A Soldier, A Dog and a Boy by Libby Hawthorn, a story about a young soldier in the battle of the Somme. She points out that although important topics are mentioned, it’s not too detailed, making it appropriate for younger readers:
“With so many ANZAC stories out there I think this is one of my favourites. It’s lyrical and honest and beautiful. It brings out the emotional content with respect and with restraint and with joy. A must read.”
Ashleigh reviewed The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless, the story of Lucy in the year following the death of her mother. Ashleigh found the sometimes difficult themes of the book dealt with in an eloquent way:
“It is a story that has moments of hope and moments of darkness. It has small triumphs but not so small failures, and it has a realistic ending – where not everything works out in a happily ever after, but resolves what needs to be resolved, and allows the reader to imagine the rest for themselves.”
Christine took a look at Ida by Alison Evans, a coming of age story about Ida who can shift across parallel universes. Christine acknowledged this book may be a confusing read for some, but:
“While Ida may not be an easy read, those who persevere are rewarded with a brilliant story that reflects the reality of some of us who feel vulnerable and lost while trying to transition to the next stage of our life.”
Risk by Fleur Ferris was proclaimed as a must-read book by HM Waugh.
“There is a clever balance of characters in this book. Friends, parents, teachers, police. They are all well-executed. None are simply bad, even the guy online is shown to have a better side he displays to the world. None are simply good either.”
Finally, Amanda looked at Jenna’s Truth by Nadia L. King, a book which looks at bullying and wanting to fit in.
“Nadia L. King treads important but tenuous ground in her first foray into writing for the young adult genre. Based on my positive and moving response to Jenna’s Truth, I predict a healthy career in Australian fiction for Nadia L. King.”
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 four-year-old and one-year-old, revisiting some of my favourite authors and reviewing books