YA Books About Schizophrenia

by - April 29th, 2016


Lately there’s been a rise of books that deal with important topics: such as mental health. I’m so in favour of this because it a) breaks down stigmas that we might have from not understanding the mental illness, and b) shows us that people are never just “labels” and c) helps us to walk in these characters’ […]

Review: Shtum by Jem Lester

by - April 26th, 2016


Jem Lester’s exceptional debut, Shtum, poignantly depicts the love, anger, guilt and exhaustion felt by the parents of a young boy with severe learning disabilities. The autism afflicting eleven-year-old Jonah isn’t the kind most readers will be familiar with – that is, the kind displayed by Raymond in the movie Rain Man, or Christopher in The Curious Incident […]

Mums are Super! – Small reads, big on Heart

by - April 26th, 2016


Mums come in all shapes and sizes and deserve adulations, which match their boundless love, tireless efforts, and quiet achievements. To fit them all into one day – Mother’s Day – is a mission impossible so shower your mother with gratitude (and great reads) year round! Or, if you are like me and prefer to […]

YA Serious Finales I’m Looking Forward To In 2016

by - April 23rd, 2016


Apparently 2016 is the year of all the YA finales. It’s so exciting! And terrifying, honestly, because while I adore knowing how my favourite series ends….I also get thumped with nerves that it won’t be a satisfactory ending. Series finales need closure and tragedy and triumph. It’s such a hard blend! But I shall be brave […]

Review: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

by - April 22nd, 2016


Loosely based on Kate DiCamillo’s own childhood,Raymie Nightingale tells the story of ten-year-old Raymie Clarke and her plan to get her father to come back home after he eloped with a dental hygienist. The year: 1975. The place: Florida. Feeling alone and adrift, Raymie is determined to learn how to twirl a baton in order […]

Review: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

by - April 22nd, 2016

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This is a truly wonderful novel that captures the outbreak of the Second World War in London which will hook you from the opening line:  “War was declared at 11:15 and Mary North signed up at noon”. We follow Mary North, who from the war’s outset, is determined to use this tumultuous time to change […]

Liz Anelli Brings Life to Desert Lake

by - April 22nd, 2016


Liz Anelli is the author and award-winning illustrator of many, many colourful projects including children’s books, magazines, advertisements and educational websites. Her stunning artwork extends to printmaking, graphic design, watercolours, gouache and collage. Howzat!, View From the 32nd Floor and One Photo are a few of the picture books she has illustrated. Today I am […]

The Girl on the Train – Official Teaser Trailer

by - April 21st, 2016


Coming to cinemas in October is the much-anticipated film adaptation of The Girl on the Train: an elegantly written mystery that exposes the ugly truths of its characters, and through them, ourselves. On the one hand its a searing indictment of our propensity to make assumptions based on severely limited information – a mere glimpse, an […]

Marching Forward – Remembering Bravery Reviews

by - April 18th, 2016

Dreaming the Enemy

Remembering, honouring, commiserating, – learning. When recently reading ANZAC titles to my maturing primary schooler, she asked, ‘Are there still wars, going on?’ I had to reply that yes, sadly there were. However, by sharing the past and gradually exposing children to the realities of it, hopefully they become better equipped to care enough to […]

CBCA Notables 2016

by - April 18th, 2016


The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Notables (or long lists) have been announced today. The short lists will be announced on Friday 20th May at the national conference which is held in Sydney this year. I’ve listed my favourites (of those I’ve read) below:  BOOK OF THE YEAR: EARLY CHILDHOOD I interviewed the delightful […]

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

by - April 17th, 2016


I’m following up my recent review of The Winner’s Curse, with a review of the sequel: The Winner’s Crime. And trust me, peoples, you are going to need to devour this WHOLE trilogy. Preferably one book after another. But if you’re still dubious and need convincing: I am here.  Again I re-read this book just recently, […]

Review: Patagonia’s Tools for Grassroot’s Activists

by - April 16th, 2016

Tools for Grassroots Activists

Patagonia, the repair-what-we-sold-you adventure clothing retail company synonymous with ethical business—and practically a giant stamp of sustainability approval for anything it puts its name to—runs an invite-only conference every couple of years. For the conference, Patagonia invites heavy hitters in environmental advocacy from whom they can learn. For example, keynote speakers have included Dr Jane […]

Review: Superman, Vol. 1 – Before Truth by Gene Luen Yang & John Romita Jr

by - April 16th, 2016

Before Truth

The Superman titles have undergone a renaissance recently, sparked by the arrival of Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder on ACTION COMICS, and followed by Geoff Johns’ and John Romita Jr.’s brief stint on SUPERMAN. Now Gene Luen Yang steps up to the plate – the acclaimed writer of American Born Chinese – with Before Truth, […]

Review – Rockhopping by Trace Balla

by - April 14th, 2016


Attributed as ‘a class act’ by The Australian. Praised by leading industry professionals. Acclaimed with prestigious awards. Her previous title in the series, Rivertime (review), is the winner of several book prizes, including the Readings Children’s Book Prize, the Wilderness Society’s Environment Award, and shortlisted in the CBCA Awards, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Speech […]

Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

by - April 14th, 2016


The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is so good that I’ve read it TWICE. (And I’m notorious for not being a rereader because of all the new books clamouring for my attention.) And my star-rating went up on the second read, because I appreciated the writing style and the psychological angle on battle tactics so very […]

Getting Serious about Series # 4 – Ripper Reads for Girls

by - April 12th, 2016

Ruby Wishfingers illo

I don’t usually like to categorise reads into which gender they might appeal to better. I believe every child is individual and will find a story to fit their unique reading tastes no matter how pink the cover or how boyish the hero. To say that boys should be directed to sports orientated titles and […]

Review: Lily and the Octopus by Steve Rowley

by - April 12th, 2016


Both laugh-out-loud funny and weep-into-your-hanky heartbreaking, Lily and the Octopus introduces a spectacular new voice and leaves its mark on the landscape of great fiction. For anyone who has ever loved and lost a pet, anyone who has struggled to find meaning in the face of death and feared its residual solitude, Steven Rowley’s debut […]

Picture Books of the Curious Kind

by - April 11th, 2016


I’m always up for a good imaginative mystery that gets my mind, and heart, racing. It must be that dopamine rush I get when experiencing something novel and exciting, the eager anticipation and engagement, and finding something I can relate to. For kids it would be no different and the following two picture books, not […]

8 Books With Bees on the Cover

by - April 10th, 2016

World Without Us Mireille Juchau

I follow a number of book reviewers on YouTube and one of them recently mentioned their affection for books with bees on the cover. This captured my attention immediately, because I have the same bias for books with keys on the front, so I decided to keep my eyes open for bee-themed book covers and […]

Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

by - April 9th, 2016


With Cinda Williams Chima spin-off-series Flamecaster coming out SO SOON, I think it’s a very good time to revisit the original Seven Realms series — which you need to read. Absolutely desperately need. Trust me. It’s YA epic fantasy at it’s finest. (Note: I’m not 100% sure if you need to read The Demon King series before […]

Powerfully Poignant – Historical MG reviews

by - April 7th, 2016

One Thousand Hills

Being part of the human species is not always a club I’m proud to belong to. We can be pretty awful to each other sometimes even though most of us, most of the time err on the side of kindness. History allows us to mark the good times and the kind people. More frequently however, […]

Review: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

by - April 7th, 2016

Every Exquisite Thing is a powerful and heartfelt novel about adolescence, and the perpetual journey of self-discovery. Nanette O’Hare is a teenager who been pigeon-holed into her role as dutiful daughter, industrious student, and soccer star. She has immersed herself into the life that has been moulder for her, rather than allowed the freedom to […]

Review: Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen

by - April 5th, 2016


The cynic in me wanted to view Derek Fridolfs’ and Dustin Nguyen’s Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice as a perfunctory vehicle to spotlight younger versions of DC comics heroes and villains ahead of the release of the blockbuster film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But I’m a sucker for the DC’s ‘trinity’ […]

Jess Racklyeft Touches Hearts with ‘Smile Cry’

by - April 4th, 2016


Jess Racklyeft is the illustrator behind her adorably heartwarming debut picture book. With her beautiful, vast array of design and art work and use of mixed media, Jess’s passion and talent shines brightly in Smile Cry. Today we find out more about her illustrative inspiration. Review: “It’s such a cool book! It never finishes and you […]

Best Historical Fiction YA Books

by - April 3rd, 2016


I grew up reading historical fiction so I have an insurmountable love for it. It always brings back memories, you know?! Glorious memories of a childhood spent between book pages…and in tears because, let’s face it: WWII books are ALWAYS devastating. Actually history in general can be altogether nasty. But it makes such good stories. And today’s […]

14 Books With Keys on the Cover

by - April 1st, 2016

The Scottish Prisoner Diana Gabaldon

I’m always influenced by a well-designed book cover or dust jacket, and a book with a key on the cover almost always grabs my attention. Once I started taking notice of the symbolism of keys in book cover design, it didn’t take me long before I started making a list (because I love a good list). First for the […]

Australian YA: Meet Will Kostakis and The Sidekicks

by - April 1st, 2016


Will Kostakis has a great reputation in the world of Australian YA. He seems to be vastly energetic and enthusiastic and is viewed with enormous affection by readers of YA. Will’s new YA novel The Sidekicks has just been published by Penguin Books Australia. It’s a poignant, appealing story about three disparate guys in Year […]

Indie Book Awards 2016

by - March 31st, 2016

Natural way of things

The 2016 Indie Awards presentation, hosted by Allen & Unwin in North Sydney, was filled with warm goodwill, packed with authors, booksellers, publishers and industry professionals. Independent booksellers do an incredible job in reading and hand-selling Australian literature. They ensure that excellent books that could otherwise be overlooked, reach readers – and these books often […]

Review: Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley

by - March 31st, 2016

Take your time with Cambodia Noir. Savour it. Although the journey is dark, it is truly unforgettable. The great Otto Penzler – distinguished editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City – once said of noir: “[It] is about losers. The characters in these existential, […]

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

by - March 30th, 2016


The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler was a) my first read by this author, b) one of my new favourite contemporaries of 2016, and c) an entirely adorable sea cucumber of goodness. I so thoroughly approve of this book! It had everything a summery contemporary needs: excellent characters; lots of boating and beachy scenes; […]

Review: Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker

by - March 24th, 2016

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I have read a lot of war fiction, especially the new wave that has been coming through in the last few years about Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a genre that, when done well, is visceral, shocking and gives you insight into experiences that are almost unimaginable. But it is also a genre that can […]

Australian YA: Meet Helen Chebatte and Bro

by - March 24th, 2016


Helen Chebatte’s debut novel Bro has just been published by Hardie Grant Egmont. It’s a riveting story and has an authenticity that young adults will respond to. Thanks for speaking with Boomerang Books, Helen. Where are you based and how involved are you in the YA and children’s lit world? Hello Boomerang Books! I live […]

Review: Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley

by - March 24th, 2016

Take your time with Cambodia Noir. Savour it. Although the journey is dark, it is truly unforgettable. The great Otto Penzler – distinguished editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City – once said of noir: “[It] is about losers. The characters in these existential, […]

Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

by - March 23rd, 2016


The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig was a delicious book of ships and time travel and I THINK I AM IN LOVE. This is my first ever time travel book, and it was hugely successful. But why did I adore this book so much? Oh oh, I’m glad you asked. I have a list of reasons. All The […]

Reviews – Little Elliot BIG…

by - March 23rd, 2016


It is special holidays like Easter that remind us to appreciate one another and of our need for togetherness. Easter Bunny and Chick may be the renowned chocolate-giving pair this holiday, but Elliot and Mouse find their own kind of sweet goodness in this loveable series of friendship and hope. When I first read Little […]

Review – Cyclone

by - March 22nd, 2016


I was but a babe in arms when Cyclone Althea swept across Townsville on the eve of Christmas in 1971 however, I will never forget the noise of it; the warning sirens, the howling winds, the pelting rain. We were hushed into submissive silence by the storm screaming to get through our walls; muted by […]

Comic Books to Read if You’re Excited for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

by - March 21st, 2016


We’re mere days away from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and if you’re like me, you’re both excited and slightly trepidatious about the flick. Thankfully, regardless of the film’s success and quality (my fingers are crossed for both despite my reservations about Man of Steel) there’re a bunch of collected editions and graphic […]

YA Books With Royal Titles

by - March 20th, 2016


I have a decided weakness for books with royalty in the titles. There is just something about picking up a Young Adult book that shouts “QUEEN!” that fills me with immense joy. (Probably because I want to be queen of all when I grow up?) And, as YA title trends go, this is quite a […]

Review: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

by - March 18th, 2016

Lucy Barton

Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton is a delectably quiet, understated, but powerful novella. It is about a woman unravelling the tapestry of her life, with particular emphasis on the five days she spent with her estranged mother by her side during a nine week hospital stay. Don’t let its page count fool you; […]

Review: Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

by - March 17th, 2016

Fool Me Once

Forgive me for throwing out this hackneyed phrase — but Fool Me Once is a world-class thriller. I mean, seriously; just when you think Harlan Coben has reached his apex, when you’re thinking there’s no way he can beat what’s come before, he produces his best, most compulsive novel yet. Shudder in fear, fellow thriller […]