Author – Irfan Master
Age – 12+
Adam’s family is struggling. They have just lost his grandfather and learned that he donated his heart – given to someone else who needed it after he died.
Adam’s mum hasn’t cried yet, and he’s worried about that.
Adam’s little sister Farah still doesn’t speak, preferring to sign instead.
Adam blames himself.
This story could be bleak. It could be dark and depressing and leave you wishing you never picked it up. It is the opposite.
Yes, life is tough. Mum has to work two jobs. They are grieving. Adam likes to be alone even more now, spending all his time drawing in his sketch pad or writing down words to make some sense of the world. His exceptional talent at drawing is also shown in tagging, but unlike other taggers he knows, he is working alone on a bigger project. One that takes months of being out in the cold, bit by bit, revealing something important.
And then there’s William. He’s different. He’s tall and white and just appears one day on their door-step. He has something to tell them. Who is this stranger?
Out of Heart is all about – HEART. All the different types of heart. Kind-hearted. Hard-hearted. Broken-hearted. Cold-hearted. And luckily for Adam’s sake, a Sweet-heart. And with interesting quotes from books, and poems, or facts about the heart sprinkled through the book – it was nothing but heart-warming. LOVED IT!
(Abuse, Grief, Family, Tagging, Friendship, Relationships, Blended Family, Courage, Conflict)
Author – J C Jones
Illustrator -Serena Geddes
Age – 8+
Pip’s birthday hasn’t gone to plan at all. Just as she’s about to have some cake, her carer Sully falls to the ground taking the cake with him. “He’s had a stroke,” say the ambulance men, and he’s taken to hospital.
Sully is the only family Pip knows. She was left as a tiny baby on his doorstep inside an apple crate, with a note from her mother. She’ll be back when she’s settled – but she never returns. Pip is what Sully names her.
But with Sully in hospital, Pip knows she will be placed in welfare. She’s been warned about welfare by her friend Ginger, who has been mistreated in different foster homes. So, with a bag packed she avoids police and welfare and looks after herself, keeping one step ahead of the authorities while she waits for Sully to get well.
Pip is polite and thoughtful of others and a diligent pupil, but also tough and resourceful on the streets. This street savvy gets her through some tricky situations, but it’s the people who care for her that eventually help her through. Great story for 8+
(Poverty, Love, Grief, Family, Friendship, Foster care)
Author – James Roy
Age – 5+
Let’s do Diwali (5) – Chook is paired up with Praj in his class because his best friend Joe is sick. They have to research an international festival and Praj asks if they can do Diwali – A festival of lights. Chook is worried about how big the crowd might be and if he’ll like the food, but Praj’s mum makes him feel part of things with traditional clothing and careful choice of food for Chook to try. He loves the happy atmosphere, the food, the music and the fireworks!
On the Road (6) – Chook and his family are going to visit their younger twin girl cousins. What will they talk about? But Chook takes his chess set and his brother takes his socccer ball. Evie learns chess very quickly and Poppy ends up playing soccer with Ricky outside. They have things in common after all.
Unhappy Camper (7) – Chook doesn’t want to go on the school camp. His mum and friend Joe try to convince him it will be fun, but he still worries. When Chook’s brother Ricky is jealous, camp doesn’t sound so bad after all. He finally picks up his gear and goes to school – only to find they aren’t going anywhere. They are going to camp at school!
Up and Away (8) – When Chook’s teacher asks them to write about what job they’d like to do when they are older and why they think they’ll be good at it, Chook can’t decide. He thinks about being a pilot like his dad, but he’s a bit scared of that. When he helps out in the travel lounge with a little girl who is scared of flying, his dad is proud of him. Being a pilot is much more than just flying planes. It is being good with people too.
Four more stories in this easy-read series for boys, with characters they can relate to in their own daily lives.
(School, Growing up, Courage, Friendship)
Author – Sally Sutton
Illustrator – Kirsten Richards
Age – 6+
When Sophia and Clara are given 6 small plastic unicorns by their Nana, they think they are sweet little toys, but little do they know, they are naughty, cheeky, and bound to get them in a LOT of trouble. In the 1st episode of this series, it is book week at their school and there is a dress-up parade on the last day. What will they go as?
They ask Mum to help, but the Miniwings spoil things. The next time Mum agrees, the Miniwings are even worse! Will they ever get a costume ready or will they have to wear their school uniforms in the parade?
These fun, coloured illustrated chapter books are great for budding readers. No. 1 & 2 are on the shelves with four more adventures to come.
(Unicorns, Series, Siblings, School, Magic, Fantasy, Fun, Mischief, Family)
Author – James Bradley
Age – 13+
Ever since strange spores covered Earth, leaving web-like threads, humankind has battled The Change. Anybody who shows the symptoms of luminescence on their skin, or strange lights in their irises, are taken from their families, never to be seen again.
Callie is not about to let that happen to her 5 yr old half-sister Gracie. They have already lost their father to The Change, and Callie can’t face losing Gracie too. Against the strict Quarantine laws, Callie flees across Australia to The Zone – a place said to be a safe haven for The Changed.
But their journey is full of danger, vicious dogs with hate-filled owners, drones on the look-out and determined Quarantine officers. Will they get to The Zone and is it what they’ve been told or is it something not of this world?
I quickly became attached to determined, resourceful Callie and her love for her little sister. The tension never lets up on their journey and it culminates in a shocking finale. A trilogy I will definitely be following!
(Dystopian, Love, Family, Action, Alien, Escape, Determination, Series, Trilogy)
Author – Linwood Barclay
Age – 10+
Chipper isn’t just any dog. Well not now anyway. He grew up on a farm with his brothers and sisters but one day was picked up and taken to a laboratory.
Everything was white. The walls, the floor, his cage and the coats the people wore. And then everything was black while they operated on him, replacing parts and adding things like GPS, USB ports, and cameras to make him a super smart canine. But on the day they decide he still has too many of his dog instincts (he likes chasing things), he knows his hours are numbered.
Using the intelligence they gave him, he escapes. Meanwhile there is a boy named Jeff. He’s lost his parents in a plane crash and is living with his aunt, working at her camp ing ground. He soon makes a friend in Emily, a girl who is visiting with her dad.
Chipper, Jeff and Emily are quickly caught up in spy rumours, escape plans, super technology, men in black suits and explosions. Who can they trust and where can they hide?
This is the first in a new series, with more action, intrigue and evil plans afoot to come….
(Family, Animals, Courage, Technology, Computers, Dog, Laboratory)
Author – Rachel Delahaye
Illustrator – Jamie Littler
Jim is in his father’s study again – strictly against the rules. But he’s intrigued with his dad’s job and wants to find out more. The Death Dictionary is his favourite, telling him about all sorts of things to do with Dad’s occupation as a Grim Reaper. One day he looks up gloves, because there is a special glass glass with a white glove in it and it goes with his dad when he’s working and it stays in the box when he’s not. Jim is intrigued. He finds : The Glove of Death – how scary and cool is that!
But when he borrows it to raise some money for a DVD he wants, things go terribly wrong – so wrong, there are dead people all over his neighbourhood and it’s all his fault!
He’s got to fix things before Mum gets home, before Dad finds out and before any more people drop dead!
A white glove, a black cat and a very red face! The Glove of Death is another funny story in this series about a young boy and his Dad – The Grim Reaper. You don’t have to read No. 2 to enjoy this episode – but the first in the series – Jim Reaper – Son of Grim is a must!
(Humour, Funny, Friendship, Accident, Cat, Death, Secret, Mistake)