Welcome back to another great month of celebrating children’s and young adults books from Australian women writers!


This month Ashleigh looked into the first two Rose Raventhorpe books (Black Cats and Butlers and Rubies and Runaways) from Janine Beacham. The books, set in a world of grave robbers and duelling butlers are a great introduction to the crime genre. Ashleigh had positive reviews for both and when reviewing the second said:

Ashleigh also reviewed Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, a story of a girl who finds herself in a magical world.

“Nevermoor is the kind of novel that once you start it, it’s impossible to put down, and the decision to devour it or savour it is a very hard one to make. I wanted it to last forever, and at the same time, find out how Mog got through her trials.”

Jennifer looked at Accidental Heroes from Lian Tanner, a trip back into the world created in the Keepers trilogy. This is a book of schemes, plots and possible escapes:

“Ms Tanner creates an action-filled, suspenseful story. There are villains and heroes and, if you look closely, you may see just a little (!) magic.”

Young Adult

Marie reviewed Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster, another book which travels into a fantasy world (there’s a theme this month!) It follows 15 year old Esme, who feels unable to move on after her mother’s disappearance seven years earlier.

“The stunning fantasy world is so well drawn and relatable to the ‘real world’ (with human characters and ‘normal’ every-day experiences), that I was able to visualise the beautifully depicted magical elements easily. In fact, I particularly enjoyed the whimsy and imagination in this book and the way it embodies the innocence of childhood.”

Finally, Cassandra looked at The Lovely Dark by K. A. Last, a book which looks at three teenagers who get lost while orienteering at school camp and find themselves exploring a cave system and releasing a witch!

“Other than how atmospheric this book is, my favourite thing about The Lovely Dark is the dialogue. There were actual, for real laugh out loud moments for me (something that doesn’t normally happen when I’m reading).”

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