Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson (black dog books)
Lili Wilkinson reveals on her publisher’s website that her most treasured possession is her collection of 32 different editions of Alice in Wonderland. As such an avid collector of the fantastic it is not surprising that fantasy finds its way into her historical narrative, Scatterheart, and informs its title.
A novel for young adults, Scatterheart is the story of Hannah Cheshire, an indulged, motherless, only child who enjoys a privileged lifestyle in early 19th century London before her father’s fortunes fade spectacularly and she is left destitute and alone. Before long, she is wrongly accused of a petty crime and after languishing in a filthy prison cell, finds herself transported to Australia.
Each chapter of Hannah’s story begins with the tale of Scatterheart, a fairy tale version of her own search for happily ever after. In a novel that is an interesting mix of historical fiction, fantasy, adventure and melodrama, Wilkinson has created in Hannah a strong character undergoing a metamorphosis from the spoilt and self centred society miss to a resilient, resourceful and loyal young woman. Her descriptions of well researched settings are equally memorable, from the dank and dangerous prison cells to the harsh realities and privations of life aboard a prison ship and in the penal colony of New South Wales. The amalgam of styles and stories revealed in Scatterheart engages, informs and entertains and is indicative of Wilkinson’s versatility.
Such skill is worthy of encouragement in an emerging young writer. The judging panel congratulates Lili Wilkinson, recipient of the IBBY Australia Ena Noel encouragement award for literature for young people.
EN judges: Jane Connolly (Qld), Judy Moss (Tas), Robin Morrow (NSW).
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
For lower secondary (and upper primary):
Dragonkeeper series by Carole Wilkinson. - Carole helps everybody to realise that they have a special talent. A beautifully told magically realist tale.
The Cherub series by Robert Muchamore - AND the Henderson Boys. The poms do spies and thrillers really well.)
Boy Soldier series by Andy McNab - another good pommy spy writer.)
Town by James Roy - for those who love dipping into linked short stories)
Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials - the movie was The Golden Compass, which was not a patch on the books.
Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
The Spooks Books by Joseph Delaney
Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Two books out and one to come. Enough political depth to provoke thought. The provinces versus the centre
Black Dog's the Drum series.
Hatchet and its sequels, by Gary Paulsen
Shirley Marr's Fury - smart and sassy, a bit girly for guys just maybe, but a guy needs to know how girls think.
The Mortal Engines series by Phillip Reeve (and his Here Lies Arthur)
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
anything by Morris Gleitzman. My brother picked up Two Weeks with Queen at 36 and commented on how good it was without thinking of it as a book for kids.
Eragon and Brisingr
Con Iggulden is hot at the moment and keen on Mongols
Louis Sachar's Holes (and the rest)
William Nicholson's Wind on Fire series
Tomorrow When the War Began - after you've seen the movie, which is due out in September
The Joshua Files
Garth Nix of course. Any of his series.
Charlie Hickson's Young Bond
Mark Walden's Hive series
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Joshua Files
And for the older reader
Q&A by Vikas Swarup - the book on which Slum Dog Millionaire was based.
Hostage by Karen Tayleur - a road book.
Ellen Hopkin's Burned, Crank, Tricks and Glass - that's three books - just out from Simon and Schuster.
Scott Westerfield's Pretties etc
The usual thriller culprits: Dan Brown, James Patterson et al
John Green, maybe try Looking for Alaska
Annie Rose's Sex and Other Stuff - essential reading
Mama's Song by Ben Beaton, for how blokes think girls think.