Review: This Savage Song by VE Schwab

by - July 2nd, 2016


This Savage Song by VE Schwab was a monstrously pleasing read. I’m beginning to think VE Schwab can do no wrong with her other incredible books like A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and Vicious. This was my first try of a YA book by her and it was absolute perfection! Dark and […]

Review: A Hero in France by Alan Furst

by - June 29th, 2016


No other writer of historical espionage fiction is as capable of capturing the sights sounds, and tensions of the time as Alan Furst. Not only does he saturate the reader in the fine details, but his characters always resonate – even when they are distinct archetypes – and his plots are always complex and rollicking.  […]

YA 2016 June And July Releases To Watch Out For

by - June 29th, 2016


Keeping on top of the new releases is always hard when it comes to Young Adult books. Why? Because there are so many! And they all seem so epic! How does one even know what to choose?! Luckily for you, I am here to point you in the direction of upcoming epicness and keep your to-be-read piles taller […]

Review – Dragonfly Song

by - June 28th, 2016

Dragonfly Song

Wendy Orr’s latest novel has the sweeping majesty of an epic novel and the thrill of a mid-grade fantasy that will win leagues of young new fans. Powerful, eloquent and moving, Dragonfly Song is a story you will never want to leave. At first glance, Dragonfly Song is not for the faint hearted, weighing in […]

DOODLES AND DRAFTS with Wendy Orr on the inspiration behind Dragonfly Song

by - June 28th, 2016

Orr Wendy, preferred author photo, credit Roger Gould

Hang onto to your bronze daggers as you are in for ‘a riveting, mythic Bronze Age adventure’ –  we have the remarkable Wendy Orr at the draft table today, escorting us on her Blog Tour for her stunning new novel, Dragonfly Song. And like all terrific stories, there is usually an even more fascinating story […]

Review: Black Teeth by Zane Lovitt

by - June 27th, 2016


The Midnight Promise announced Zane Lovitt as a great new talent in Australian crime fiction. His new novel is even more incredible. Lovitt takes a wicked sense of humour and clever plotting to once again brilliantly subvert the crime genre. The novel opens with a piece of classic noir. A man opens his door to […]

Review: The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller

by - June 24th, 2016

9781925106954 (2)

Norwegian By Night was one of my books of the year when it was published in 2012 and we loved it so much in the shop it was our bestselling book of that year (it even outsold Fifty Shades that year!). It was a literary thriller like no other that had a deep emotional resonance. […]

YA Books About The Afterlife

by - June 22nd, 2016


Death and the afterlife are huge questions most humans ponder upon. So naturally there are YA books that ask the same questions! Which leads these books to be about (excuse me while I aptly quote The Princess Bride) characters who seem only mostly dead. Life ain’t over for these folks! And the afterlife speculations vary from Egyptian folklore […]

Being You is Best – Picture book reviews about Self

by - June 21st, 2016

Introducing Teddy

It is sheer coincidence that the following picture books lie on my desk at a time when the tenets of tolerance, acceptance and being yourself are being so brutally questioned again, (when are they not). However, it is heartening to know that equally powerful positive messages are available and as accessible as picking up one […]

Discovering Adventure with Leila Rudge’s Picture Books

by - June 20th, 2016


Her indelibly gentle style, warming tones, infallible use of mixed media, energetic and always gorgeous characters bounce from her pictures every time. Including titles such as Ted and Mum Goes to Work, illustrator Leila Rudge knows just how to capture the heart, soul and spirit of her characters in all of her books. Here are a […]

Who is Oliver Phommavanh’s The Other Christy?

by - June 20th, 2016

Other Christy

Oliver Phommavanh’s new novel for children, The Other Christy has just been published by Penguin Random House. It has a very appealing storyline and characters, voices some important issues with a light touch, and is told with the author’s trademark big heart and humour. Thanks for speaking with Boomerang Books, Oliver. No worries Joy. Where […]

Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

by - June 17th, 2016


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke was delightfully messed up. It’s a whimsical YA contemporary with a fairy tale vibe that nearly makes it seem magical realism. And it’s basically populated by slightly psychotic characters. But don’t fret! They’re adorable psychos. (Ahem.) After finishing my brain basically just spun with emotions and I feel like I did paddle in […]

Everything’s Archie

by - June 15th, 2016


Last year I picked up and read a copy of Afterlife with Archie. It was unexpected, surprisingly intelligent and utterly BRILLIANT! And it reminded me of how I loved reading Archie comics as a kid. So I hopped online and ordered a selection of Archie graphic novels. Did they meet my expectations? Were they all […]

Review – Disastrously Daring! by Adam Wallace

by - June 15th, 2016


Disastrously Daring!, Adam Wallace (author), James Hart (illus.), Krueger Wallace Press, 2016 (the year of the ninja). On par with it predecessors, Accidentally Awesome! (review) and Blunderingly Brilliant!, Disastrously Daring! knows laughter is the best medicine. However, we all know that Jackson Payne’s recipe is so often one for disaster rather than a cure! Adam […]

Review: The Lost And Found by Katrina Leno

by - June 14th, 2016


The Lost And Found by Katrina Leno is a precious little bookish creature built for anxious people with internet friendships. It’s so very relatable! I immediately felt at home with the teens who confessed it’s easier to make friends online sometimes. (YES IT IS.) Although, be ye warned: It’s actually contemporary with a slight dose of magical realism. […]

Review – One Would Think the Deep

by - June 13th, 2016

One Would Think the Deep

If you thought Claire Zorn’s first two YA novels, The Sky So Heavy and The Protected, were brilliant, you’re going to need double tinted Ray Burns for her latest masterpiece, One Would Think the Deep. Zorn manages to mould rough edged, grit-encrusted reality into exquisite accomplished prose with the mere flick of her fingers. One […]

Quirks, Quandaries and Quips – Picture Book Reviews  

by - June 9th, 2016


I love coming across books that allow the freedom to ‘think outside the square‘, so to speak. Books that play ‘chasey‘ with your imagination and let you run wild. And books that at the end of a chaotic day leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart. The following three picture books […]

Review: Starflight by Melissa Sanders

by - June 9th, 2016


Starflight by Melissa Sanders was an incredibly fun surprise! I didn’t have very high expectations because the author’s previous book, Alienated, was cute but a bit unimpressive for me. Yet Starflight?!? IT WAS AMAZING. It was like Cinder meets Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and it was stuffed with action and hilarious dialogue. This is the kind of quality intergalactic space […]

The 2016 CBCA Early Childhood Picture Books

by - June 8th, 2016


Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press) begins, ‘Hey there, guys. Would you like a banana?  What’s wrong, Brian? You’re a piranha. Well, how about some silverbeet? Are you serious Brian? We eat feet. Or would you rather a bowl of peas? Stop it Brian. We eat knees. Well, I bet you’d like […]

Curious Concepts – Concept picture book reviews

by - June 6th, 2016

What Could it Be

Concept picture books play a huge part in shaping a young person’s perceptions. They are capable of unlocking an inquisitiveness that hopefully sticks around for life and are crucial for developing critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. However, important educational concepts need not be strictly didactic and dull as these entertaining picture books clearly display. Garden […]

YA Books With Super Long Titles

by - June 4th, 2016


Giving books titles is really hard. We can’t all have short punchy ones like “Power” and “Blood”, I suppose, so it makes sense that some titles get…lengthy. Super lengthy. Some titles end up as entire sentences, honestly. And while it takes us half an hour to recall and spit out the book’s title, at least we […]

War and the CBCA 2016 Shortlisted Picture Books

by - June 3rd, 2016

Flight 2

War is a recurring theme in the 2016 CBCA shortlisted books and dominates the picture book category. Ride Ricardo Ride by Phil Cummings, illustrated by Shane Devries (Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia) has an Italian war setting, where the soldiers are portrayed as menacing shadows. It particularly looks at the relationship between Ricardo and his father, who […]

Janeen Brian’s Hunger for Stories Leaves us Wanting More

by - June 2nd, 2016


Janeen Brian is the much-loved, award-winning author of over 90 books for children, many of which have been translated and distributed around the world. Some of her most popular titles include I’m a Dirty Dinosaur, I’m a Hungry Dinosaur, Where does Thursday go?, That Boy, Jack, I Spy Mum!, Hoosh! Camels in Australia, Silly Squid! and Pilawuk- When […]

YA, NA and MG Fiction Defined With Recommendations

by - June 1st, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Most readers will be familiar with the genre of books referred to as YA, but what about NA and MG? Young Adult (YA) YA fiction generally contains novels written for readers aged in their teens, or more specifically between the ages of 13 and 20. The stories feature teenage protagonists and often explore themes of identity […]

Spinning Tales – Cricket inspired Young Fiction

by - June 1st, 2016

Glen Maxwell

I realise it’s brass-monkey weather already and for many a young sportsperson, rugby jerseys are in preference to baggy greens. However, the warming image of red leather cracking against willow against a burnished summer sky is one I am in dire need of right now. Therefore, here are a few of some recent favourite cricket […]

Boomerang Books Staff Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

by - May 31st, 2016


The Dry is one of those books that got the whole team at Boomerang Books singing – and all to the same tune. This is a book we love, and can’t recommend highly enough. Here’s what we thought: KATE SAYS: As a bookseller you get sent literally hundreds of reading copies from publishers on a yearly […]

Three Types of Charm – Janeen Brian Picture Book Reviews

by - May 31st, 2016


Award-winning author Janeen Brian is well-known for her superlative poetry, fascinating research projects and of course, those cheeky dinosaur books. She also has a gifted ability to incorporate important, ‘real-life’ topics into her stories in the most pleasurable and engaging ways. From the farm to the outback and atop the Himalayan mountains, the following three […]

Phasmid to Rebels: the 2016 CBCA Eve Pownall Information Books

by - May 31st, 2016


Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect by Rohan Cleave & Coral Tulloch (CSIRO Publishing)  Phasmid is the first children’s book published by CSIRO, and they are very excited about its CBCA shortlisting. The Lord Howe Island stick insect was thought to be extinct, eaten by rats, but just enough survived on Balls Pyramid, […]

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

by - May 30th, 2016


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo promises thieves, assassins, heists, and antiheroes. And I am such a fan! Move over heroes…this story is about the dubiously motivated villains who are on a quest for money. And Six of Crows is actually quite dark! I love it when books promise to be dark and actually follow through. […]

2 Awesome YA Books

by - May 27th, 2016


This post is about my two favourite books of 2015. They also happen to be two of the most gobsmackingly awesome Young Adult books I have ever read. They are Illuminae (The Illuminaue Files 01) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. Both books have […]

SWF Wrap Up: ‘Going Home’ with Debra Jopson, Beth Yaph and Adam Aitken

by - May 26th, 2016


A comment that this session ‘Going Home: Belonging, Family and Food’ at the SWF was “up there with some of the most stimulating sessions I attended at the festival” summed up the quality of the discussion and the engagement of the audience at this sold-out session with Debra Jopson, Beth Yahp and Adam Aitken. The […]

YA at the SWF: Vikki Wakefield and the Best and Worst Years of our Lives

by - May 25th, 2016

Vikki Wakefield

Last week I spent three days with four top YA writers at the Sydney Writers Festival. We travelled from Roslyn Packer Theatre at the Wharf in the city, to Parramatta Riverside Theatre and our third day was at the Chatswood Concourse. These enormous venues were filled with secondary students from schools in Sydney and further […]

Protectors of Secret Natural Places: Tony Birch and Inga Simpson

by - May 24th, 2016


I was very fortunate to chair a session with Inga Simpson and Tony Birch at the Sydney Writers Festival. They both have had books long or short listed for the prestigious Miles Franklin award. Tony’s Ghost River is currently longlisted. It was also shortlisted for two categories in this year’s NSW Premier’s Awards: the Christina […]

Review: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

by - May 23rd, 2016


I absolutely loved The Passage. It totally blew me away it is depth of storytelling, its scope, its characterization, its structure. You name it, I loved it. I’ve read the book three times now and loved every bit of it each time. But I have to admit to being slightly disappointed with the second book […]

YA Roadtrip Books

by - May 22nd, 2016


There’s nothing like reading Young Adult books about roadtrips to remind you of good ol’ adventurous times. Or remind you why you don’t take roadtrips? Because everything honestly seems to go wrong and sometimes monsters try to eat your face. So that’s also a downside. In case you want the roadtrip experience, sans squashing yourself in a car […]

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

by - May 20th, 2016


Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman definitely goes down as my favourite YA Western read of…EVER. Yes, just excuse me while I get a little overexcited. Ahem. I was worried, going into it, because I didn’t love the author’s previous dystopian series. But this?! This was wildly different and entirely spectacular. It also reminded me heavily […]

Review: The Fireman by Joe Hill

by - May 18th, 2016

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We’re huge fans of Joe Hill’s new book The Fireman. With echoes of Justin Cronin’s The Passage, M. R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, it’s an epic unlike any we’ve seen this year, and definitely a must-read. Here’s what the team’s had to say: Jon’s Review I am a sucker […]

Far Beyond Our Imagination – Picture Book Reviews

by - May 17th, 2016


Reading is a pleasure that allows for a range of benefits – reinforcing critical literacy skills, fuelling the imagination, inspiring empathy, and for the sheer joy. I chose these picture books with the commonality of the out-of-this-world theme, and I love that each one surprises its readers with elements of humour, compassion, relationships and the […]

Interview with Kelly Doust, author of Precious Things

by - May 17th, 2016

Kelly Doust

Precious Things by Australian author Kelly Doust follows a handmade beaded collar through history to the present, touching on the women who owned it and wore it in the past. Kelly Doust joins us on the blog today. Thanks for joining us Kelly. How did you become interested in vintage clothing? I fell in love with all […]

Australian Story – Stories with a love of Country

by - May 17th, 2016

Mad Magpie (high res)

Wednesday the 25th May marks the 16th National Simultaneous Storytime event. Aimed at promoting the value of reading and enjoying stories inspired and produced by Australians this campaign sits neatly alongside the 2016 CBCA Book Week Theme – Australia! Story Country. Story telling expeditiously fosters an appreciation and understanding of our unique Australian humour, environment, […]