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

Aug 23 2017

Funniest Dad in the world by Ed Allen

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Ill. by Louis Shea. Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781743817506
(Age 3-6) Highly recommended. Fathers. Humour. Ideal for Father's Day, this very funny picture book will delight emerging readers and littlies who listen to it being read aloud. Three baby creatures, an emu, a frog and a rhinoceros, all think that their dad is the funniest dad in the world. Each insists that their dad tells the funniest jokes, while riding a unicycle and juggling pizzas and on each double page spread they try to outdo each other with extremely funny incidents.
The narrative is hilarious and each incident is outrageous. Starting with just one line, "My dad's the funniest in the world because . . ." each time the little animal comes up with a new reason that it has the funniest dad, this is added on and repeated until almost at the end, where there are twelve lines that the young reader or listener will easily be able to remember. Then there is a delicious and unexpected twist at the end to further intrigue the reader.
The illustrations are also riotously funny. I especially loved the rhinoceros, in a Hawaiian style shirt, riding a unicycle and juggling pizzas and the drawing of the emu blowing a bubble out of his nose, while high fiving a monkey, being tickled by a crocodile on top of a whale is have everyone in stitches.
At the back there is a cardboard stencil trophy "To my funniest dad in the world", which could be used by an individual child or copied for more than one user.
Any father who has this book read to him will be hugely entertained and children will have so much fun with the narrative and the illustrations.
Pat Pledger



More Reviews

Aug 23 2017

A thousand hugs from Daddy by Anna Pignataro

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Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781760276973
(Age: 2-5) Highly recommended. Another beautifully illustrated book just in time for Father's Day A Thousand Hugs from Daddy is a gentle and warm tribute to the love between a father and his child:
In your arms it's safe and...
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Aug 23 2017

Sea by Sarah Driver

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The Huntress series. Egmont, 2017. ISBN 9781405284677
(Age: 9-12) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Adventure stories, Sailing Ships, Tribes and tribal systems, Families.
We rove! We rove to trade, to meet, for the restlessness in our bones; we rove at one with the...
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Aug 23 2017

The tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond

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Ill. by Alex T. Smith. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406358070
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Perception, Schools, Angels, Education. When grumpy bus driver, Bert, finds an angel in his top pocket, he takes him home to his wife, Betty and together they name the little fellow, Angelino....
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Aug 23 2017

Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard

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Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9780008244521
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Dogs, Utra marathon, Running, Companionship, Non fiction. Subtitled: The true story of one little dog's big journey, this book will have kids and adults reading it from cover to cover. It begins in the...
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Aug 21 2017

The undercurrent by Paula Weston

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Text, 2017. ISBN 9781925498233
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Science fiction. Julianne De Marchi is different - she has the ability to use an electrical current under her skin to light a fire or hurt someone. But she doesn't understand her power and doesn't know how to control it. When...
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Aug 21 2017

How does my home work? by Chris Butterworth

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Ill. by Lucia Gaggiotti. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406363784
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. STEM. Home appliances. Electricity. All the things we do not think about in the home: how does a switch turn on the light, how does the fridge work, where does the gas come from to keep us warm,...
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Aug 21 2017

Bad mermaids by Sibeal Pounder

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408877128
(Ages 8-11) Mermaids. Adventure. Fantasy. Author Sibeal Pounder's new fantasy series explores the world of mermaids and their adventures in the Hidden Lagoon. When Arabella Cod, Queen of the Mermaids is captured, it is up to Beattie Shelton and twins...
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Aug 21 2017

The anti-boredom book of brilliant outdoor things to do by Andy Seed

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Ill. by Scott Garrett. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408870099
Gardening. Crafts. Cooking. Games. Holidays. Summertime fun in the garden, you can build a tipi, create a den with a fence, sheets and chairs, build a bug trap or create a beautiful water rainbow. With step-by-step instructions,...
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Aug 21 2017

Tell it to the moon by Siobhan Curham

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406366150
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Tell it to the moon is an incredibly hopeful story about friendship and supporting one another through the tough times. I would highly recommend this for people aged twelve and up as it reinforces the importance...
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Aug 20 2017

Sparrow by Scot Gardner

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Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760294472
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Survival. Juvenile detention. Escapes. Homelessness. Sparrow is a 16 year old boy who doesn't speak. He has been accused of murdering his brother and sent to juvenile detention. On a trip home after a boot camp, the...
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Aug 20 2017

The shop at Hoopers Bend by Emily Rodda

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Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9781460753668
(Age: 9-12) Themes: Magical realism, Family relationships, Fantasy, Australia. Emily Rodda's The Shop at Hoopers Bend is a magical story, centred on eleven-year-old 'Quil' (Jonquil) Medway's search for a family and a place to call...
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Aug 20 2017

Vengeance is mine, all others pay cash by Eka Kurniawan

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Trans. by Annie Tucker. Text, 2017. ISBN 9781925498226
(Adult) Though in many ways a remarkable novel, this book is not for the faint-hearted. Eka Kurniawan is a young Indonesian writer who was much praised for Beauty is a Wound, which won the 2016 World Readers' Award, and Man...
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Aug 20 2017

Watch out, snail by Gay Hay

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Ill. by Margaret Tolland. Starfish Bay Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9780473226442
(Age: 4-7) Highly recommended. Subjects: Snails, New Zealand Animals. The Powelliphanta snail is very rare, a native of New Zealand's moist forests. This large carnivorous snail hunts for earthworms at...
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Aug 20 2017

Go, green gecko! by Gay Hay

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Ill. by Margaret Tolland. Starfish Bay, 2017. ISBN 9781760360337
(Ages: 2-5) Geckos. This is a New Zealand publication and a similar title, Watch Out, Snail!, is also available. The text, which follows a repetitive and predictable pattern, is lyrical and has some great imagery...
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Aug 17 2017

Exchange of heart by Darren Groth

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Penguin Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143781578
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Themes: Student exchanges. Mental disorders. Assisted living. Munro Maddux has been having problems ever since the death of his sister Evie. He constantly hears a voice that he calls the Coyote, which...
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Aug 17 2017

Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408884539
(Age: 10+) Kid normal is the first book in a series by Greg James and Chris Smith. The story follows lead character Murph Cooper through the frightening task of moving house, leaving friends and changing schools part way through the term. When...
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Aug 17 2017

Soda Pop by Barbro Lindgren

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Gecko Press, 2017. ISBN 9781776570119
(Age: 9+) A faint hum begins and a cloud of smoke slowly advances from the horizon. The hum turns to howling and growling as it comes closer. Then a huge swarm of tigers arrives - through the garden, squeezing into the barn, diving into the swimming...
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Aug 17 2017

DK Find Out! series

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DK Publishing, 2017.
Decades ago DK Publishing revolutionised the presentation of non fiction to young readers with bright photographs, information in manageable, well-labelled chunks and the clever use of white space so that the reader was not overwhelmed. Their ...
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Aug 17 2017

Wreck by Fleur Ferris

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Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143784319
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended, Shipwrecks, Sibling rivalry, Crime, Survival. When eighteen year old Tamara leaves her holiday work at the local paper, ready for uni the next day, she finds her house torn apart by someone's manic search....
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Aug 17 2017

My life as a hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

cover imageAllen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760113681
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Mobile phones, Social media, Depression. Gabrielle Williams writes her stories with an air of authority, getting into the mind set of teens perfectly, reflecting their language and mores with alacrity, acting as a...
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Aug 17 2017

The traitor and the thief by Gareth Ward

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381504
(Ages: 11+) Highly recommended. Steampunk genre. Spies. Friendship. Steampunk isn't for everyone, but this wonderful book is worth reading as a first foray into this inventive and curious genre. It is a genre worth exploring as a world of mechanical...
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Aug 17 2017

Pip and Houdini by J. C. Jones

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Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760296056
(Age: 8-11) Highly recommended. Missing persons. Runaways. Dogs. Adventure stories. Resilience. J. C. Jones' popular Run, Pip, run introduced us to the feisty young Pip...
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Aug 17 2017

This savage song by Victoria Schwab

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Monsters of Verity book 1. Titan Books, 2016. ISBN 9781785652745
(Age: 14+) Recommended. 2017 Locus Awards nominee. Dystopian fiction. In a world that has been invaded by monsters, Kate Harker and August Flynn find themselves together on the run. There are three types of...
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Aug 17 2017

Bitter enemies by R. A. Spratt

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Friday Barnes series, book 7. Penguin Random House, 2017. ISBN 9780143784197
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Beginning of term at Highcrest Academy has never been so dreary and desolate. Melanie and Ian are both depressed and missing their quirky best friend, Friday, who has...
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Aug 17 2017

Grandma forgets by Paul Russell

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Ill. by Nicky Johnston. EK, 2017. ISBN 9781925335477
Picture book. 'My grandmother forgets who I am. Every time we meet, it likes meeting someone new...
Even though Grandma can't remember us, we have so many memories of her.'
There are the sausages as big as elephant's legs...
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Aug 15 2017

A cardboard palace by Allayne L. Webster

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Midnight Sun Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925227253
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Poverty, Refugees, Child Labour, Survival. Allayne Webster's A Cardboard Palace is a powerful story giving a voice to the plight of Romany children taken from their parents and forced to...
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Aug 15 2017

Where is Grandma? by Peter Schossow

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Gecko Press (NZ), 2017. ISBN 9781776571543
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Hospitals, Humour, Grandparents. This beautifully evocative picture book about a child trying to find his grandmother in a large busy hospital, is not only a wonderful tale of discovery, but it tells readers why a...
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Aug 15 2017

Lintang and the Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss

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Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143783435
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Lintang dreams of having adventures on the high seas. When a deadly mythie attacks the same day the infamous Captain Shafira visits her island, Lintang gets her chance, defending her village with a bravery that...
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Aug 15 2017

Little Lunch: Triple the Laughs by Danny Katz

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Ill. by Mitch Vane. Black Dog Books, 2017. ISBN 9781921977398
(Age: 6+) Themes: School stories; Friendship; Food; Dress-up Day; Germs. Three stories, made into the successful ABC series Little Lunch, highlight the antics of kids at school. Little Lunch, or as some know it -...
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Aug 15 2017

Remind me how this ends by Gabrielle Tozer

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Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9781460751688
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Durnan is really a backwater now that Milo's girlfriend has moved 300kms away to University. Milo finished Yr 12 with plenty of options but he's stuck, working in the family bookstore. It doesn't look as if he's going...
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Aug 15 2017

Rockabye Pirate by Timothy Knapman

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Ill. by Ada Grey. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408849392
Rock-a-bye pirate, in the crow's nest
Mummy says bedtime, and Mummy knows best.
You've had your adventures, you've sailed the high seas,
So under the covers and go to sleep, please.

During the day, this little...
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Aug 15 2017

Shaozhen by Wai Chim

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Through my eyes, natural disaster zones book 2. Allen And Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760113797
(Age: Year 4+) Highly recommended. This is a thought provoking account of the hardship a small village faced in the 2014 drought in Henan, China. Shaozhen has no intention of staying in his...
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Aug 15 2017

Survival skills handbook, series by Bear Grylls

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Knots. ISBN: 9781783422982
Camping. ISBN 9781783422593
Maps and navigation. ISBN 9781783423002
Dangers and emergencies. ISBN 9781783422999
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Survival. Camping. Knots. Navigation. First Aid. Bear Grylls is the world famous...
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Aug 15 2017

Blossom by Tamsin Janu

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Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781742991641
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Author Tamsin Janu has hit the jackpot again. After the success of Figgy in the world and...
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Aug 15 2017

The very sleepy bear by Nick Bland

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Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781743812549
(Ages: 3-7) Recommended. Rhyme. Hibernation. This much-loved bear is back in his sixth book and this time he is preparing for winter hibernation. He is just settling in for the long winter when Fox appears and convinces him that a bear like him, 'so...
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Aug 14 2017

Because of you by Pip Harry

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UQP, 2017. ISBN 9780702259777
(Age: 15+) Hope. Homelessness. LGBTIQ. Writing. Friendship. Relationships. Everyone has a story... and words can transform lives.
In this YA novel we meet Tiny, a homeless teen who is barely recognised or heard, except by her down and out (and often...
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Aug 13 2017

Literature to support the Australian curriculum - Annotated lists of fiction and poetry Book 2 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

cover imagePledger Consulting, 2017. ISBN 9781876678531
Teacher reference. Highly recommended for educators and teacher librarians. Subjects: Fiction, Books and reading,...
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Aug 13 2017

Koala by Claire Saxby

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Ill. by Julie Vivas. Nature Storybooks. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925126396
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Australian animals, Koalas, Australian bush, Habitat. In the fork of a tree a young koala wakes. He goes to his mother, wanting to get back into the safety of her pouch but...
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Aug 13 2017

A is for Australian animals: a factastic tour by Frane Lessac

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Walker Books Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781925381009
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Factual picture book. Australian animals. This is a unique alphabet book that will enlighten and entertain any child or adult who reads it. Filled with Lessac's signature drawings the reader is given lots of...
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Aug 13 2017

A Monster Calls (film) book and screenplay by Patrick Ness

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Focus Features, 2016, released in Australia 2017
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Monsters, Death, Cancer, Bullying, Acceptance. Conor (Lewis MacDougall) screams as he falls out of bed, clutching a hand slipping from his grasp. The clock shows 12.07 and he knows it is the old...
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Aug 13 2017

Tell it to the Dog, A Memoir of Sorts by Robert Power

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Transit Lounge, 2017. ISBN 9780995359505
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. This remarkable collection of stories is often deeply emotionally disturbing, yet it is one of the most beautifully composed reflections on life that I have read. Subtitled a 'memoir of sorts', he includes mostly...
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Aug 13 2017

The secrets she keeps by Michael Robotham

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Hachette Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780733638015
(Age: Adult - senior secondary). Recommended. Psychological thriller. I always pick up a book by Michael Robotham and this one is every bit as compulsive as previous novels. It is a stand alone crime, told in two voices: Agatha who works in a...
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Aug 13 2017

Zombelina school days by Kristyn Crow

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Ill. by Molly Idle. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781619636415
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Themes: School life, Zombies, Dancing, Rhyming stories. Kristyn Crow's fun rhyming story Zombelina School Days is a perfect picture book for sharing with a younger audience. This story is filled with...
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Feb 02 2017

Literature to support the Science curriculum Foundation -7 by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678470
Highly recommended for educators. Subjects: Science curriculum; Fiction; Annotated bibliography. Fran Knight and Pat Pledger continue to write first-rate reference tools for teachers in primary school education, which focus on key curriculum...
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Feb 21 2016

Fiction gems: Recommended fiction lists for Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678456
Teacher reference. What a great resource for those charged with purchasing or recommending reading material for Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students. The Middle School aged reader can have specific interests or reading demands and keeping...
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