Check out these recommendations from two of Australia’s best book stores, Fullers Bookshop and Berkelouw Books.
Jen Murnaghan from Fullers Bookshop in Hobart and Launceston (Tasmanian Independent Bookseller of the Year 2002-2011; Australian Bookseller of the Year 2002) recommends the following books, which can be delivered Australia-wide.
Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognises something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages —until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. Ages 14 and up
Forest of the Pygmies, Isabel Allende
Alexander Cold knows all too well his grandmother Kate is never far from an adventure. When International Geographic commissions her to write an article about the first elephant-led safaris in Africa, they head to the blazing, red plains of Kenya. Days into the tour, a Catholic missionary approaches their camp in search of his companions who have mysteriously disappeared. The final installment of Isabel Allende’s celebrated trilogy soars with radiant settings, spirits, beings – and the transformation of an extraordinary friendship. Ages 10 and up
Wonder Struck, Brian Selznick
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories – Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures – weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Ages 9 and up
All I Ever Wanted, Vicki Wakefield
Rule number one: I will not turn out like my mother. With her two older brothers in prison, Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother. Does this make her a drug runner? She’s set herself rules to live by, but she’s starting to break them. And she can’t seem to find answers to all the new questions: Why is the boy she sent Valentines to for years now suddenly a creep? And who is the mysterious girl next door who moans at night? Over the nine days before her seventeenth birthday, Mim’s life turns upside down. In the end, the same things look entirely different.
City of Lies (Keepers), Lian Tanner
Goldie Roth is a trained thief and a skilled liar. Along with her friend Toadspit, she’s supposed to be one of the Keepers of the mysterious Museum of Dunt. But although she desperately wants to be a Keeper, she will not leave her sick parents. But when Toadspit’s sister Bonnie is stolen, he and Goldie are forced to follow the child-stealers to the neighbouring city of Spoke. Goldie discovers some dangerous secrets—secrets that the child-stealers will kill to protect. She will need all her skills as a thief and a liar if she is to survive and save her friends. Ages 9 and up
The Sending: The Obernewtyn Chronicles 7, Isobelle Carmody
The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated. Elspeth’s search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. And it will test her, as she has never been tested before.
Operation Red Jericho, Joshua Mowll
Two teens, a shadowy mission, and no turning back. . . . This lavish 1920s journal kicks off a three-part series recounting the adventures of two intrepid siblings tracking their parents’ disappearance. Starting aboard their uncle’s research ship, the saga moves at a breathless pace through the streets of Shanghai and on to a terrifying island fortress. Chinese mercenaries, a hateful pirate warlord, and a highminded secret society all play a part in a thrilling tale of intrigue packed with nonstop action and novelty features. Ages 10 and up
Monster Blood Tattoo, D.M. Cornish
Set in the world of the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully. Ages 12 and up
What Now Tilda B? Kathryn Lomer
Only a day ago, things were normal. As normal as this year gets anyway. Tilda Braint is nearly sixteen, restless and having trouble figuring out what on earth she’s supposed to do next. Living in a small coastal town doesn’t help either. When two seals land in the middle of Tilda’s life, they turn it upside down. They’re a long way from home and may well be lost. For Tilda, the seals may turn out to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. A novel about finding yourself, your friends and your future.
How to be an Explorer of the World, Keri Smith (non-fiction)
Artists and scientists analyse the world around them in surprisingly similar ways: by observing, collecting, documenting, analysing, and comparing. In this captivating guided journal, readers are encouraged to explore their world as both artists and scientists. With a series of interactive prompts and a beautifully hand-illustrated two-colour package, readers will enjoy exploring and discovering the world through this gorgeous book.
Cyrus from Berkelouw Books has compiled a list of latest release titles, and a couple of classics. Berkelouw stores are in Sydney, Melbourne and on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, and online ordering is also available.
Brotherband 1: Outcasts, John Flanagan
John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger’s Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire. Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger’s Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books. Ages 10 and up
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults. Ages 12 and up
Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle, Book 4), Christopher Paolini
Not so very long ago, Eragon – Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider – was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost? This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle. Ages 12 and up
Power of Six, Pittacus Lore
There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another, but our Legacies are developing and soon we’ll be ready to fight. Is John Number Four – and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl who might be strong enough to bring the six of us together? They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio … and failed. I am Number Seven. And I’m ready to fight. Ages 14 and up
Silence, Becca Fitzpatrick
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They’ve overcome the secrets riddled in Patch’s dark past…bridged two irreconcilable worlds…faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust…and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they’ve worked for—and their love—forever. The third book in the HUSH, HUSH Saga.
Fateful, Claudia Gray
Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself. New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage. Ages 14 and up
People’s Republic, Robert Muchamore
Twelve-year-old Ryan is CHERUB’s newest recruit. His first mission: infiltrating the billion-dollar Aramov criminal empire. He has no idea that this routine job will lead him into an explosive adventure involving drug smugglers, illegal immigrants and human trafficking, or that his first mission will turn into one of the biggest in CHERUB’s history. Ages 12 and up
Graffiti Moon, Cath Crowley
Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.
Beatle Meets Destiny, Gabrielle Williams
Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle.
And then you meet your Dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney.
But what if you’re already with the perfect girl?
A novel about change, chance and everybody doing the wrong thing.
The Alchemyst, Michael Scott
The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.
Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.
Looking For Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the no-nonsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.
Are there any books your kids have loved that you can recommend?