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

Oct 17 2017

The loneliest girl in the universe by Lauren James

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406375473
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Themes: Space Travel; Trust; Science Fiction; Loneliness. Imagine you are the only person in your universe (apart from someone who is only contactable via email and even then your responses may be separated in time by months or years) . . . imagine the loneliness!
In this incredibly interesting Science Fiction book, the central character, Romy, is a survivor on a Space exploration vessel which is on its way to establish EarthII. Her story is further complicated because she has never even set foot on Earth, as she was born in the spacecraft The Infinity to her astronaut parents who were commanding the interplanetary vessel which was stocked and prepared for an extraordinary amount of years of travel away from Earth. The craft was populated by many people and waiting embryos, all in suspended torpor ready for something new - a brave new world. Romy has been raised to be independent and resourceful and well-versed in all things scientific and technical. Disastrous circumstances have left her alone, living with her own grief, but in a position of great responsibility. Into this lonely existence, filled only with technical tasks, learning how to solve intensely difficult Mathematics and Physics problems, watching film files and writing her own fan-fic (fiction from fans that creates storylines into her favourite Film fiction) is an interruption of the romantic kind. Another spacecraft is on the way to connect with The Infinity. Initially just a voice in a text, but eventually a meeting as the newer vessel travels at greater speed to make contact with Romy's own travelling spacecraft. The complications of a possible human encounter raise all sorts of teenage dilemmas as Romy's imagination takes hold. Will this meeting in space be all that she wants it to be? Is there something not quite right about what she is about to encounter?
Lauren James has a background in STEM subjects and this is a perfect book to recommend to those who love Science Fiction and a sprinkling of science related information in a science-rich context and setting. (A genuine STEAM book, with the addition of the Arts!) Understanding the relative shrinking of time between the two converging vessels is important in understanding the loneliness of Romy which is expressed through her email conversations. With a mixture of the Sci-fi, romance and thriller genre for teens, this is a wonderful book to recommend. It certainly causes the reader to think about what space travel might be like, and what it might mean for the future, and it places scientific knowledge into fiction in a really positive way.
Carolyn Hull



More Reviews

Oct 17 2017

The Mysterious World of Cosentino - The Missing Ace by Jack Heath

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Ill. by James Hart. Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781743812020
(Age: 7+) The Grand Illusionist, Cosentino, runs the popular Copperpot Theatre in Coppertown, a place in Magicland. The only problem is that the evil King has banned magic. Cos is busy practising his latest illusion -...
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Oct 17 2017

Insidious intent by Val McDermid

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Little Brown, 2017. ISBN 9781408709320
(Age: senior secondary to adult) Highly recommended. Crime thriller, Forensic science, Murder. When a young woman's body is found in a burnt out car in a remote part of Northern England, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler, Tony Hill, are...
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Oct 17 2017

Ten Pound Pom by Carole Wilkinson

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Our Stories series. Black Dog Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381214
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Ten Pound Pom is a recount of Carole Wilkinson and her family's migration from England to Australia. Carole shares her feelings about leaving through a narrative style recount and...
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Oct 16 2017

Colonialism and its aftermath: A history of Aboriginal South Australia edited by Peggy Brock and Tom Gara

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Wakefield Press, 2017. ISBN 9781743054994
(Age: Senior secondary) Highly recommended. This book presents a series of regional histories of the impact of colonialism on the Aboriginal peoples of South Australia since 1836, based on the research of historians, anthropologists, and...
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Oct 16 2017

The book of secrets by A.L. Tait

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The Ateban Cipher book 1. Lothian, 2017. ISBN 9780734417671
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Gabe stared in horror at the small book in his hand. The light from the low fire danced across its golden cover, setting off a shower of sparkles from the rainbow of jewels that adorned it....
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Oct 16 2017

That's my book! and other stories by Salina Yoon

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781619638914
(Age:5-7) Recommended. Three short stories in one feature Big Duck, quiet and clever Little Duck, and friendly and gentle Porcupine, making this a very good book for the reader who is just transitioning from picture books to chapter books. Readers...
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Oct 16 2017

Nothing tastes as good by Claire Hennessy

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Hot Key Books, 2016. ISBN 9781471405747
(Age: 15+) Mental illness. Death and grief. Anorexia and eating disorders. Abuse. Teen romance. Secrets. Food plays a very powerful role in this book; it is the beginning and end of the conflict. For Annabel, the narrator of this YA book, food (or...
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Oct 16 2017

All the way home by Deb Gliori

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408872079
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Penguins. Antarctica. Arctic. Christmas. Parenting. When father penguin and his egg are picked up by a huge wind and deposited in the Arctic, life is very strange for the penguin. Here he meets animals that don't exist in the...
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Oct 15 2017

That Christmas feeling by Lili Wilkinson

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Ill. by Amanda Francey. Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760294960
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Christmas, Sharing, Grandparents. Jean, Dottie and Shortbread, the dog, are sad. Their parents have left them with their grandparents before Christmas, telling them that they will return in time. But...
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Oct 15 2017

A Christmas Advent story by Hanna Tolson and Ivy Snow

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Bloomsbury 2017. ISBN 9781408889787
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Lift the flap book, Christmas, Advent calendar, Customs. A European custom of celebrating the twenty five days preceding Christmas Day is to hang an Advent calendar in the home for children to open each day. This handsomely...
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Oct 15 2017

Malibu and the naughty elf by Michelle Worthington

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New Frontier Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925520644
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Malibu and the Naughty Elf is an Australian themed Christmas story. Malibu is a kangaroo who is hanging out with Santa, the elves and the reindeers at the beach. While everyone seems to be having fun, Bobby...
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Oct 15 2017

Facts! One for every day of the year by Tracey Turner

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Ill. by Fatti Burke. Bloomsbury Childrens, 2017. ISBN 9781408884621
(Age: 7+) Recommended. This is a really interesting book that grabs the reader's attention as soon as it is opened. Turner has come up with a different fact for every day of the year. Some of them are just amazing - when...
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Oct 13 2017

Big Fella Rain by Beryl Webber

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Ill. by Fern Martins. Magabala Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925360639
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. Themes: Weather, Seasons, Rain, Natural Environment. 'Way up north when the mighty storm comes, lightning flashes through liquorice clouds.'
Beryl Webber's delightful picture book describes the...
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Oct 13 2017

There's a big green frog in the toilet by Anh Do, Simon Mellor and Heath McKenzie

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Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781743812495
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Rhyming story, Sing a long, Frogs, Toilets. Every child in the classroom would feel for the youngest member of the family desperately wanting to use the toilet but unable to get past the big green frog in the toilet bowl. He...
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Oct 13 2017

The Mitford murders by Jessica Fellowes

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Little, Brown, 2017. ISBN 9780751567168
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Mystery. Louisa Cannon has problems. It's 1919, and her oppressive uncle is proving to be dangerous. She really wants to escape London and is happy when she secures a position as a nurserymaid at Asthall Manor the home of...
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Oct 13 2017

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash

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Hachette Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780733636455
(Age: Adult - 16+) Recommended for romance lovers. Australian country life. Rachael West is 28 and devastated by the death of her mother. Years before she had chosen to care for her mother who suffered from MS and run the family farm, rather...
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Oct 11 2017

Landscape with invisible hand by M. T. Anderson

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Candlewick Press, 2017. ISBN 9780763699505
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Wealth and power. Commerce. Art. Invasion. Science fiction. When the vuvv hover above earth, telling people that they have been watching since the 1940's, they promise sharing their technologies which means freedom...
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Oct 11 2017

Busy builders: Airport by Timothy Knapman

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Quarto Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381443
(Ages: 3-7) Airports, Airplanes. This presents as a largish box containing a small information book and materials to create a model airport. It includes very thick runway pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and cardboard...
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Oct 11 2017

When I grow up by Tim Minchin

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Ill. by Steve Antony. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781742764955
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Growing up. Adulthood. A child's perspective of being an adult is shown with fun and music in this offering from Tim Minchin. The children see adulthood through their eyes, the things an adult does are the...
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Oct 11 2017

My dog Socks by Robyn Osborne and illustrated by Sadami Konchi

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Ford St, 2017. ISBN 9781925272826
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Dogs. Family. Love. Imagination. Socks' owner loves walking with his dog, because wherever they go Socks becomes another animal. If they are in the forest, he becomes a black bear, scraping the trees with his claws, or a...
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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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Sep 04 2017

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

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Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678470
Following the same layout as some of their previous Australian Curriculum publications, the authors provide lists of...
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Aug 27 2017

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

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Pledger Consulting, 2017. ISBN 9781876678531
Recommended as a teacher reference for both Junior and Senior School libraries and English faculties. This teacher resource book makes the book selection work of Teacher Librarians and English teachers much easier. It contains summaries of...
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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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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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