Contemporary en point junior and
middle grade novels are undeniably making a solid comeback. The variety of
subject matter is virtually infinite yet one element common to the most popular
choices 7 – 13-year-olds make, is humour. These next
few titles expertly embrace funny as a way of relaying serious storylines in
the most entertaining ways.
Frightfully funny, this easy to read junior novel will have 6 - 10-year-olds snickering with delight at Gorski the vampire's dilemma following a run in with the recalcitrant fruit-loving bat, Nectar. After being bitten by Nectar, Gorski's erstwhile vampish traits disappear at an alarming rate. Horrified, his family rally to reverse his transformation before it's too late and he remains a blood-phobic, fruit eating vampire forever.
Cute twists, coffin-loads of pun-some fun (in nearly every paragraph which is choke-causing crazy for adult readers but which the intended audience should fine hilarious) plus plenty of gh…
Living in a land which boasts as many natural disasters as natural wonders, can result in the worst of times and perversely, the best of times. Ex-resident of Far North Queensland's Cassowary Coast, June Perkins, is no stranger to both phenomena.
Cyclones are not uncommon in this neck of the rainforest however how their impact affects the lives and livelihoods of those in their wake varies as violently as their magnitude. In After Yasi - Finding the Smile Within, a deeply absorbing collage of images, anecdotes and post-Yasi survivor profiles, Perkins captures the very essence, the profound spirit of recovery.
After Yasi distills the stubborn tenacity and resilience of neighbours and friends, loved ones and indeed the entire community into a stirring visual tribute of them struggling to regain normality after an acutely abnormal interruption to their lives.
Instead of being a somber exposition of loss and destruction, After Yasi allows hope to permeate through every page thanks to t…
Perhaps the greatest expression of song is Yaxley's exceptionally lyrical prose. This is My Song is a sweeping story told in three parts across three continents, embracing three monumental periods of time. The story of young Rafael Ullmann's rising love for music amidst the growing tensions of the 1940s is chocked with heartbreak and wrenching disappointment.
He survives the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp but at the cost of losing his passion for the thing he loved most, music. His song lies withered, abandoned and forgotten like a childhood pet that died long ago. By the time his daughter, Annie arrives, Rafi has accepted his world of silence and regret.
Annie is a child of the sweeping isolation of the Canadian prairie lands, yet she is a bird eager to fly and seeks a freedom she cannot enjoy with her parents. It is her son, Joe, an uncertain modern-day Aussie youth seeking a solid sense of self from a history he knows nothing about, that eventually helps them all reu…