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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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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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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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).

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3 reasons why ‘The Elephant’ by Peter Carnavas is such a beautiful book

There were definitely tears shed when I read this story, but they weren’t just tears of sadness. They were tears of hope, nostalgia and understanding. And don’t even get me started on the wonderful kapow! to the heart the second-last chapter provided (#NoSpoilers). But above all, ‘The Elephant‘ is a great insight into how a young girl deals with issues of depression and grief that have impacted her family.

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Olive’s dad has been feeling sad for so long that she has begun to imagine his sorrow is in the shape of an elephant. The big, foreboding creature lumbers behind her father and shows no sign of moving on. One day Olive decides she needs to get rid of her dad’s elephant and enlists the help of her Grandad and her best friend, Arthur. But igniting happiness in her dad again and chasing away the elephant may be harder than Olive thought.

From the premise it’s clear that Olive has a special connection with her father, but the story that captured my heart just as much was the connection between Olive and her Grandad.

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