Losing the Plot

Losing the Plot by Annaleise Byrd and published by Walker Books is such an inventive, clever, creative and humourous middle grade fantasy story. This fractured fairytale will have readers laughing out loud as they adventure with two polar opposite male protagonists, Basil Beedon and Terry Clegg, into a fairy tale world. Once plunged into this […]

Huda and Me

Huda and Me by H Hayeck and published by Allen and Unwin follows siblings Huda and Akeal on an action-packed adventure as they escape their nefarious, deceitful babysitter, Aunt Amel, in their home in Melbourne to travel to Beirut to reunite with their parents. This story is perfect for upper primary readers and explores identity, […]

Country Town

I have been lost in the pages of Country Town written by Isolde Martyn and Robyn Ridgeway, illustrated by Louise Hogan and published by Ford Street Publishing. This is a unique, meticulously researched, captivating book that places the reader in a fictional inland Australian town (which the creators invite readers to suggest and submit a […]

Outlaw Girls

Title: Outlaw Girls Authors: Emily Gale and Nova Weetman Publisher: Text Publishing Publication date: February 2024 Comprehensive teachers’notes and an excellent free activity pack for class use (with primary source material and activities) is available from Text Publishing here Two girls, from two very different time periods, both reside in regional Victoria and are daring, not afraid […]

Queenie in Seven Moves

Queenie in Seven Moves by Zanni Louise is a  beautiful middle grade novel that highlights the unexpected gifts that come from stepping out of your comfort zone, such as the opportunities to grow, realise your full potential, meet new people and embrace new experiences, follows twelve year old Queenie and her Mum, Clare, as they […]

Top 12 Middle Grade Reads of 2023

The following books are my favourite middle grade reads of 2023. Please click on the titles below that are hyperlinked to see my review which I shared on the Reading Opens Doors blog (some titles I still have to write a review for and will update this post to ensure all books included in this […]

August and Jones

A friendship that knows no bounds, confronting fears head on, living life to the fullest in the face of adversity and two tweens navigating the trials and tribulations of life with courage, grace, resilience and a sense of adventure are some of the moving themes in August and Jones by Pip Harry. This story, inspired […]

Scar Town

Scar Town by Tristan Bancks is a gripping, fast paced thrilling read full of action, mystery and suspense that had me on the edge of my seat till the very last line with a conclusion that will shock the reader, one you never see coming. This story is set in Scarborough, a town of mystery […]

Sunshine on Vinegar Street

Title: Sunshine on Vinegar Street Author: Karen Comer Publisher: Allen and Unwin Publication date: 30 May 2023 Additional notable information: A comprehensive teacher resource can be downloaded from the Allen and Unwin website here. Sunshine on Vinegar Street by Karen Comer and published by Allen and Unwin is a gripping and stirring verse novel set in Melbourne and imbued […]

Sea Glass

Sea Glass by Rebecca Fraser and published by Wombat Books is a contemporary Australian story full of heart, with authentic, nuanced, relatable characters who navigate seeming irreconcilable differences and show that possibilities, treasure and joy can experienced with an open mind and heart. Eleven-year-old Cailin lives with her Mum in Melbourne. They are moving to […]