3 reasons why you should read ‘Nullaboo Hullabaloo’ by Fleur Ferris

If that fun book title isn’t enough to entice you, then may I present to you: FAIRIES. Honest to goodness fairies. Younger, convinced-fairies-were-living-in-the-garden me would have devoured this story & I’m happy to report older, still-loves-magical-things me adored Fleur’s story, too.

Grade four student, Gemma Hart, already has a lot to contend with. Her parents are talking about moving away from the lovely country town of Nullaboo, and she’s stuck with the topic of march flies for her school science project when she really wanted butterflies. But her life gets even more complicated when she discovers a fairy called Janomi in her bug catcher who desperately needs Gemma’s help to save her fairy colony from not one, but two evil forces.

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I love that this book allows you to embrace the wonderment of magic in your own world.

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My top 3 favourite things about Meg McKinlay’s novel ‘Catch a Falling Star’

For Frankie Avery, the most memorable moment of 1979 was supposed to be graduating primary school – but then a space station called Skylab started to fall towards Earth. Most people are either frightened or fascinated by the ordeal, but for Frankie it has reawakened painful memories of grief and loss about her father she thought she’d locked away. And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, younger brother, Newt, has become fixated on Skylab and what its reemergence back home could mean for his family. “Maybe a space station isn’t the only thing heading straight for calamity.”

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The way Meg McKinlay explores sorrow and heartache through her writing is beautifully and realistically done.

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How to get published – Oz Comic Con 2019 author panel

On the 8th of June not only did I get to meet Pikachu and hang out in the TARDIS at Oz Comic Con, but I also got to listen to four authors have a lively discussion about their different publishing journeys. The hour-long ‘How to Get Published’ panel featured Isobelle Carmody, Astrid Scholte, C.S. Pacat and Kylie Chan. There were lots of other interesting things covered during the Q&A portion too, such as drafting and editing, how to find agents and the highs and lows of social media.

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Astrid, Isobelle, Kylie & C.S. Pacat

 

Here are some of my favourite tidbits of info and advice from each author:

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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.

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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…”

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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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