3 reasons why you should read Poppy Nwosu’s YA novel ‘Making Friends With Alice Dyson’

Alice Dyson has her eyes on the prize in her final year of school: concentrate solely on her studies so she can graduate with top marks. No distractions wanted! But the universe has other plans in store for her. One being Teddy Taualai, the school’s notorious troublemaker who has suddenly taken a shine to Alice. And the other is conflict with her best (and only) friend May, who appears to be slowly growing apart from Alice, much to her despair.

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One of the best things about this novel was that I liked the way friendship was presented in all of its multifaceted glory.

Continue reading “3 reasons why you should read Poppy Nwosu’s YA novel ‘Making Friends With Alice Dyson’”

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My top 3 favourite things about Sarah Epstein’s YA thriller ‘Small Spaces’

I started reading Small Spaces at night. On the one hand, it really amped up the chilling mood. On the other hand, I finished it at 2am & then every noise around the house became an OH GOD WHAT WAS THAT?! noise. Let me tell you, as someone with an already overactive imagination, it was a wild ride getting to sleep. It was all worth it, though, because Sarah Epstein has written a truly captivating, spine-tingling and thought-provoking debut novel.

When Tash Carmody was a kid, she saw her frightening imaginary friend Sparrow lure a young girl named Mallory from a carnival. Thankfully Mallory came home, but no one believed Tash’s story, and as she grew older she accepted that Sparrow wasn’t real. But Tash is in for a shock when Sparrow – and the memories associated with him – start to resurface just as Mallory and her family move back to town. Will Tash be able to uncover the truth about what really happened that terrible day at the carnival?

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One of the best elements of this novel is that your mind is constantly changing about which characters you can trust – even Tash.

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YA Day 2019 – insider info & advice from 15 wonderful YA authors

Saturday the 9th of February was The YA Room’s spectacular YA Day at The Wheeler Centre (thanks also to Writers Victoria), where fifteen authors across five different panels shared their expertise and anecdotes about the YA industry. It was the first time I’d been to the event and I came away with so much inspiration, admiration & a significant chunk of money missing from my bank account because of course I had to buy ALL the amazing books.

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Every author had a lot of great things to say so I’ve consulted my scribbly notes & put together some writing gems that I found interesting and helpful.

*Willy Wonka singing voice* “Come with meeee, and you’ll beeee in a world of writer informaaaation…”

Continue reading “YA Day 2019 – insider info & advice from 15 wonderful YA authors”

3 reasons why you should read ‘The Legend of Podkin One-Ear’ by Kieran Larwood

 

As soon as I finished this captivating tale I wanted to run out and join a clan of brave warrior rabbits to go on adventures with. Horses were never my thing as a kid – I was hopping mad for bunnies, Bugs, Buster, Babs or otherwise – so this book spoke right to my I-once-unwittingly-hired-Watership-Down-from-the-video-store-as-a-child-and-still-maintained-my-unabiding-love-for-rabbits soul.

Podkin One-Ear is the son of a warrior chieftain. Podkin’s life is thrown into chaos when his home is attacked by The Gorm (a group of mutated, iron-clad rabbits who have messed with dark magic). He escapes with his siblings – older sister, Paz, and baby brother, Pook – but the young trio are in for a dangerous journey as they try and find a way to rescue their family and defeat the evil creatures that have descended upon them.

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The novel is interesting in that it alternates between a rabbit bard, narrating the story of Podkin to a group of wide-eyed bunnies on Bramblemas Eve, and then delving into Podkin’s adventures as they played out.

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What’s your inspirational word for 2019?

To be honest, I’m about as good at keeping New Year’s resolutions as I am at going into Kmart and only buying one thing, which is to say I am CRAP at it. But choosing a word or two as my theme for the year? That I can do!

I’ve seen this idea around a lot of awesome places, most notably in Jen Storer’s writing group on Facebook, The Duck Pond, and the Australian Writers’ Centre blog. Of course I got the ‘bird is the word’ song stuck in my head first (you are welcome for the earworm). But then I decided on two words for the year: Continue reading “What’s your inspirational word for 2019?”

My top 20 books of 2018

Originally this was going to be a top 10 but I read way too many awesome books this year and didn’t want to have a knockout round a la The Voice. Some books were published prior to 2018, but they were new to me this year (mainly because my book buying habit can’t be tamed, so I end up stockpiling novels to swim through a la Scrooge McDuck and his money vault).

Favourite children’s books I read in 2018

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The A-Z highlights of why you should read ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ by Karen Foxlee

Volumes A to H

Author appreciation – This is the first book I’ve read by Aussie author Karen Foxlee and I’m equal parts kicking myself for not being aware of her brilliance sooner, but also quite excited to realise that along with Lenny’s Book of Everything, Karen has published four other novels. (Dear Santa, I know what I want for Christmas…)

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Beautiful story – Lenny’s brother, Davey, has a rare form of gigantism. At age seven he’s already the size of an adult and his growth shows no signs of stopping. Lenny loves her younger brother, but it’s sometimes hard to grapple with the emotional gravity of their lives.

One thing Lenny and Davey look forward to arriving each week is the latest intriguing instalment of Burrell’s Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia, which allows them to become experts on topics such as beetles and eagles, and dream about the places they can visit one day. But the window for adventure becomes smaller as Davey becomes bigger and his health deteriorates, much to his family’s distress.

Family dynamics – Even though Lenny knows Davey is going through a lot, she still has her realistic moments where she gets utterly fed up with him (and vice versa).

Continue reading “The A-Z highlights of why you should read ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’ by Karen Foxlee”