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 2016

Don't call me bear! by Aaron Blabey

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Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760159849
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour. Koalas. Verse. Assertiveness. With the quotation, 'Do I look like a bear to you?' on the back cover, readers will know they are in for a treat opening Blabey's latest picture book. An array of koalas covers the back page and one on the front cover asserts, 'Don't call me bear!'
In rhyming lines, Blabey's koala called Warren tells the reader of the history of his species in Australia when the first Europeans to see them mistakenly called them bears.
Captain Cook made the mistake according to Warren's history book, and this error has come down through the ages. Well, Warren has had enough. He cites all the bears in the world, showing us an image of what they look like and where they are found, underlining the fact that they do not appear in Australia. He is a marsupial, not a bear. He shows us other Australian animals and offers us comparisons. We do not call an emu a chook, or a platypus a duck, so why call him a bear? The arguments Warren puts forward are strong, but eventually to no avail, as the other Australian animals still call him a bear.
Blabey's illustrations are hilarious, showing the exasperated Warren doing his best to change people's minds. Each page is different, drawing the eyes to the text which is often boldly placed in large declamatory font. A group of Australian animals appears throughout the text like a chorus, a quiet offering of the accepted truth against Warren's assertions that they are wrong.
Reading this out loud with a group of kids will be hilarious. I can see many kids wanting to take Warren's part as the book is read, predicting the rhyme of each line, calling out the lines as they are read out a second and third time.
I had a great deal of fun reading this book and I am sure others will too.
Fran Knight



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Bush bolts by Soraya Nicholas

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Starlight Stables series bk 3. Penguin Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780143308621
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Aug 23 2016

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Dorling Kindersley, 2016. ISBN 9780241238905
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Aug 23 2016

Tripping back blue by Kara Storti

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Carolrhoda Lab, 2016. ISBN 9781512403084
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Aug 21 2016

One half from the east by Nadia Hashimi

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Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780062572196
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This is such a fascinating story. It is about a young girl in Afghanistan whose life undergoes a drastic change, at the age of 10, after the calamity of her father losing a leg in a random bomb blast. With three...
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Aug 21 2016

Burning by Danielle Rollins

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408869956
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Aug 21 2016

The hounded by Simon Butters

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Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743053959
(Age: 16+) The black dog is a common metaphor for depression and in the initial stages of this novel, the appearance of one to teenaged Monty seems to indicate exactly that. Monty has an eating disorder, is underweight and has an unnatural lack...
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Aug 19 2016

Game Theory by Barry Jonsberg

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Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760290153
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Thriller. Kidnapping. Jamie loves numbers and one day gives his sister Summerlee a group of numbers that wins her $7.5 million in the lottery. But things do not go well in Jamie's family especially when his...
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Aug 19 2016

Petunia Paris's parrot by Katie Haworth

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Ill. by Jo Williamson. Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760403690
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Birthdays, Macaws, Belonging. Opening the initially very pink and powder blue pages I was quickly taken in by the tale of Petunia Paris and her family. Each year they ask Petunia what she wants...
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Aug 19 2016

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

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Atom, 2016. ISBN 9780349002156
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Aug 18 2016

Figgy and the President by Tamsin Janu

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Figgy series bk 2. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781742991559
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Award winning author Tamsin Janu continues the story of eleven-year-old Figgy who lives with her Grandma Ama in a small village in Ghana. Orphan Nana who lives with them is very concerned about...
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Aug 18 2016

Little wing by Katherine Battersby

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UQP, 2016. ISBN 9780702254000
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Aug 18 2016

Computer coding games for kids by Jon Woodcock

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Dorling Kindersley, 2016, ISBN 9781740333405
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Aug 18 2016

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Edge of extinction series, bk. 1. Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780008152895
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Aug 17 2016

Grandpa's big adventure by Paul Newman

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Ill. by Tom Jellett. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670078172
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Aug 17 2016

Football High by Patrick Loughlin

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Young Gun series bk 1. Random House, 2016. ISBN 9781925324501
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Aug 17 2016

Marly walks on the moon by Alice Pung

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Our Australian Girl series. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780143308522
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Aug 17 2016

Rory the dinosaur wants a pet by Liz Climo

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Hachette, 2016. ISBN 9780316277297
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Aug 16 2016

Hijabi girl by Hazel Edwards and Ozge Alkan

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Ill. by Serena Geddes. Bookpod, 2016. ISBN 9780994358356
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Aug 16 2016

The puberty book by Wendy Darvill and Kelsey Powell

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6th edition. Hachette Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780733635496
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Aug 16 2016

Turning pointes by Emma Freedman

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Angus and Robertson, 2016. ISBN 9781460751633
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Aug 16 2016

One step by Andrew Daddo

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Penguin Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780143573616
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Aug 15 2016

Breaking the boundaries: Australian activists tell their stories edited by Yvonne Allen and Joy Noble

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Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743054185
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Editors and activists Yvonne Allen and Joy Noble have collected the personal stories of forty-five Australians who have campaigned for change. Breaking the boundaries provides a fascinating insight into their lives. The...
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Aug 15 2016

I spy Dad! by Janeen Brian

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Ill. by Chantal Stewart. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925059649
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Fathers, Father's Day. First published in 2010, this book along with I spy Mum! is a wonderful story to read anytime, but has more resonance around those days remembering...
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Aug 15 2016

Where's Dad hiding? by Ed Allen

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Ill. by Anil Tortop. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760273859
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Fathers, Father's Day, Family. The little bear searches for his father in all sorts of places. He searches the woods, looks out into the fields, under the water, on the beach, in the bus, on the toy shelf,...
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Aug 15 2016

Grandpa is great by Laine Mitchell

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Ill. by Alison Edgson. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760276638
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Aug 12 2016

Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham

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Walker Books 2016. ISBN 9781406365825
(Age: 10+ Highly recommended. This is perhaps one of the best books for adolescent girls I have read in a long time. I really wish I'd read it growing up. Dealing with issues ranging from racism, religion, bullying, body-image, sexuality, and the...
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Feb 22 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
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