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

Nov 22 2017

Tintinnabula by Margo Lanagan and Rovina Cai

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Hardie Grant Egmont, 2017. ISBN 9781742975252
(Age: 10+) Recommended. In this picture book for older readers, Margo Lanagan takes a young woman on a journey to Tintinabula in times of stress and distress.
In wild times and in wartime,
in times of fear and illness, I go
to Tintinnabula, where soft rains fall.

Tintinnabula is a story about moving from discomfort to peace,
from violence and uncertainty to a still, sure place.
It reminds us that our best friend in hard times
can often be ourselves.
(Back cover)
The reader is carried along with the young woman in the story as she flees the vision of monsters in a red background. She moves through windswept trees, past ruins and devastated lands until she finally reaches a quiet place where the grass is green and silver rains fall. The term Tintinabula means small tinkling bells and the young woman follows their sound to find that final good place that she needs.
Rovina Cai has produced memorable illustrations which swirl and twirl, brilliantly showing in reds the fear and need of the woman as she tries to find a peaceful spot to rest from the violence that surrounds her. This locale is depicted in greens and pale yellows, and the end paper finally has a glow of brighter yellow, leaving the reader with the notion that things can be brighter.
The idea that people in trouble can find a peaceful place within themselves is one that will resonate with readers and will be a comfort to those who are having problems, be they ones of mental illness or of war and violence. The ideas are complex and the book would be best suited to adults and teens or used by an adult with upper primary children.
Pat Pledger



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Nov 22 2017

A tangled tale of tagliatelle by Yves Stening

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Ill. by Nigel Buchanan. Dinner Detectives series. PublishCreative books, 2017. ISBN 9780648008712
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Humour, Pasta, Italy, Marco Polo. Clementine and her little brother, Aksel love food, and when a new girl, Sophia, moves into the street, they play...
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Nov 22 2017

The cute friend by Kim Kane

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Ill. by Jon Davis. Ginger Green, Playdate queen series. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2017. ISBN 9781760129613
(Age: 5-8) Recommended. Themes: Friendship. Problem solving. Ginger Green is the playdate queen but runs into trouble when she spends time playing with new school friend Daya....
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Nov 22 2017

Sky by Ondine Sherman

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The Author People, 2017. ISBN 9781925399189
(Age: 14+) Everything happens so fast for Sky after the death of her mother. She leaves her home and friends in the city to live in the country with an aunt and uncle she barely knows and suffers the anguish of trying to fit in at a new...
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Nov 22 2017

Koala Bare by Jackie French

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Ill. by Matt Shanks. Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9781460751619
(Age: 4-9) Koala Bare is the latest book from the excellent author of the Diary of a Wombat series, Jackie French. It follows the tale of a koala who is trying its best to convince the bird (that I figure is...
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Nov 20 2017

M is for mutiny: History by alphabet by John Dickson

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Ill. by Bern Emmerichs. Berbay Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9780994384119
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Australian history. Aboriginal themes. First Fleet. A different view of Australia's history is presented in this intriguingly illustrated picture book, with information to hold readers'...
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Nov 20 2017

My magical life by Zach King

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Puffin Books, 2017. ISBN 9780141387574
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. My magical life is a new series by author Zach King and he also just happens to be the star of the book. Zach is 11 years old and comes from a magical family. The opening pages of the book are like a photo album,...
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Nov 20 2017

Agent Nomad: Deadly magic by Skye Melki-Wegner

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Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143780403
(Age: 14+) Deadly magic is the second book in the riveting Agent Nomad series by Australian author Skye Melki-Wegner.
I was impressed by Skye Melki-Wegner's first book in this series, confident that the next book would see the...
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Nov 20 2017

Undercover princess by Connie Glynn

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Rosewood Chronicles book 1. Penguin, 2017. ISBN 9780141387567
(Age: 11-14) Themes: Fantasy. Boarding school. Princesses. Connie Glynn's debut novel Undercover princess takes inspiration from her love of Disney princesses and their stories. She shares this on her popular...
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Nov 20 2017

Don't spew in your space suit by Tim Miller and Matt Stanton

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HarperCollins, 2017. ISBN 9780733334672
(Age: 5+) Don't spew in your space suit' is another bodily function picture book by Tim Miller and Matt Stanton (who also bring us the There is a monster... who farts series)...
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Nov 20 2017

Mrs White and the Red Desert by Josie Wowolla Boyle

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Ill. by Maggie Prewett. Magabala Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925360578
(Age: 3-7) Highly recommended. Themes: Aboriginal life, Culture and identity, Australia - Social life and customs. Magabala Books continues to publish an excellent range of indigenous stories, perfectly suited 'to providing...
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Nov 20 2017

Under the cold bright lights by Garry Disher

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Text Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925498882
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Mystery and suspense. Alan Auhl works for the cold case department, after retiring from Homicide years before. He lives in a large old house with a random selection of boarders and people who need his help. At work...
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Nov 20 2017

Zombie's Birthday Apocalypse by Zack Zombie

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Diary of a Minecraft Zombie book 9. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781743818350
(Age: 7-9) Themes: Zombies, Friendship, Birthdays. The popular fan fiction series continues with Zack Zombie's preparations for his epic thirteenth birthday party. His birthday falls on Halloween making it...
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Nov 20 2017

Terrortide by Michael Adams

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The Seven Signs book 6. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781743628065
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Themes: Adventure; Danger; Sydney, Australia; Futuristic adventure. Book 6 in the Seven Signs series is as terror and suspense-filled as the previous five books in the series. The young DARE award...
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Nov 20 2017

Crimewave by Michael Adams

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The Seven Signs series book 5. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781743628058
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Themes: Adventure; Risk; South Korea; Colombia; Information; Futuristic Crime. With one twist after another, the seven DARE award winners are thrust again into life-threatening scenarios...
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Nov 19 2017

Ava's big move by Mary Van Reyk

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Surf Riders Club series. Hachette Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780734417909
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Ava's Big Move is the first book in the series Surf Riders Club and has been created in collaboration with Surfing Australia.
A new beginning and a move for a dream to...
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Nov 17 2017

Molly the pirate by Lorraine Teece

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Ill. by Paul Sedden. Magabala Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925360660
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Pirates, Central Australia, Aboriginal themes. The wonderfully spontaneous Molly lives a long way from the sea, and yet dreams of being a pirate. With mum in the background trying to hang...
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Nov 17 2017

Force of nature by Jane Harper

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Aaron Falk book 2. Macmillan Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781743549094
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Mystery and suspense. Aaron Falk returns in the second of Jane Harper's mysteries, following her best-selling The dry....
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Nov 17 2017

Cinderella by Jane Ray

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406377842
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Diorama, Theatre, Classic tale, Fairytale. A three dimensional representation of the classic tale of Cinderella is offered within the covers of this book in six pop up dioramas. Each double page presents a scene from the fairy...
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Nov 17 2017

Stitches and stuffing by Carrie Gallasch and Sara Acton

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Little Hare, 2017. ISBN 9781760127787
Wherever Adeline went, so did Bunnybear. They had been together since forever, never apart. He was soft and cuddly, his ears and legs wibbling and wobbling and he flipped and flopped along. He even had his own seat at the table for morning milk and...
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Nov 15 2017

The poesy ring: a love story by Bob Graham

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406378276
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes: Love. Marriage. Artifacts. Historical evidence. The journey of a poesy ring given to a beloved in times long ago is full of significance as it is lost and then found nearly two centuries later, meaning the same...
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Nov 15 2017

On the free by Coert Voorhees

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Carolrhoda Lab, 2017. ISBN 9781512429138
(Age: 15+) Themes: Survival. Disasters. Resilience. Santiago has elected to undertake the Bear Canyon Wilderness Therapy Programme in the Colorado mountains as a diversion from the juvenile justice system. A small party supervised by two...
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Nov 15 2017

Little Shaq: Star of the week by Shaquille O'Neal

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Ill. by Theodore Taylor III. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781619638822
(Age: 6+) "Little Shaq has always wanted his own kitten, but his parents aren't sure he's responsible enough. When Little Shaq is chosen as his class's Star of the Week, he knows that this is his moment to shine, to prove...
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Nov 15 2017

Paddy O'Melon the Irish kangaroo by Julia Cooper and Daryl Dickson

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Exisle, 2017. ISBN 9781925335637
On the very day that he took his first steps out of his mother's pouch, the little kangaroo is separated from her as two large black marauding dogs race through the clearing, scattering them to shelter. The joey cannot keep up with his mum so he hides,...
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Nov 14 2017

The untold story of Father Christmas by Alison and Mike Battle

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Ill. by Lauren A. Mills. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408892343
"In olden times, when magic still filled the air, there lived a master toymaker and his wife . . ."
So begins this delightful retelling of the story of Father Christmas, beautifully illustrated and set in a land of...
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Nov 03 2017

A very quacky Christmas by Frances Watts and Ann James

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ABC Books, 2017. ISBN 9780733329623
(Age: 2-5) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Sharing, Perseverance. Samantha Duck is singing her favourite song, We wish you a quacky Christmas as she gets ready for Christmas. She believes that animals love to share and she wants to...
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Nov 03 2017

One Christmas wish by Katherine Rundell

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Ill. by Emily Sutton. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408885734
(Age:7+) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Loneliness, Sharing, Decorations, Friends, Family. A modern fable, this story tells of a young boy's wish at Christmas and how his wish is fulfilled when he sees a star falling...
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Nov 03 2017

A Christmas menagerie edited and compiled by Beattie Alvarez

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Christmas Press, 2017. ISBN 9780994528049
(Age: 7-12) Recommended. Themes: Christmas, Short stories. Twelve short stories will delight young readers and any adult who reads them aloud to children. The stories are by well known authors, Janeen Brian, Michael Pryor, Sophie Masson,...
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Sep 13 2017

Literature to Support the Australian Curriculum Book 2 - Annotated Lists of Fiction and Poetry by Fran Knight and Pat Pledger

cover imagePledger Consulting, 2017. ISBN 9781876678531
Highly recommended. This book contains literature to support the Australian Curriculum. It contains annotated lists that cover...
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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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