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 […]

Sonam and the Silence

Title: Sonam and the Silence Author: Eddie Ayres Illustrator: Ronak Taher Publisher: Allen and Unwin   Publication date: Paperback edition published in 2023 Additional notable information: A comprehensive teacher resource can be downloaded from the Allen and Unwin website here. Sonam and the Silence written by Eddie Ayres, illustrated by Ronak Taher and published by Allen and Unwin tells […]

Desert Jungle

Desert Jungle by esteemed picture book author and artist, Jeannie Baker, is a stunning celebration of a misunderstood desert landscape, rich in diversity as well as a powerful call to action to connect with and protect desert habitats. This story is set in the Sonoran Desert and in the author’s note, Jeannie mentions that “recent […]

One More Mountain

Title: One More Mountain Authors: Deborah Ellis Publisher: Allen and Unwin Publication date: November 1, 2022 RRP: $16.99 (AUD) Teaching resource: A comprehensive teaching resource written by Robyn Sheahan-Bright is available to download from the Allen and Unwin website. One More Mountain, the fifth book in the Parvana series by Deborah Ellis is set in modern-day Afghanistan in 2021 […]


Runt by Craig Silvey, illustrated by Sara Acton and published by Allen & Unwin, recommended for readers 8-12, is a fast paced, witty, highly memorable, engaging and ruminative read that I shared with my daughter. Craig Silvey includes many meaty themes such as family selflessly coming together to overcome obstacles, true friendship, grit and resilience […]